U.S. crude stocks fell last week by 2.4 mbd, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 1.7 million barrels. Thus, inventories stood at 483.2 mbd, the Energy Department informed on Wednesday.
Upon releasing the report, West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery fell by $0.49 to $52.49
Daily crude oil imports averaged 7.8 mbd for the week ended December 09th, a 900,000-barrels drop compared with the previous week. In the last four weeks, the average of crude oil imports dropped to 7.2 mbd, or a 2.6 percent decrease from the same period last year, according to EFE.
Gasoline inventories rose by 500,000 barrels to 230 million, and are well above the upper limit of the average range. On the other hand, distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 0.8 mbd to 155.9 million barrels. Refineries operated at 90.5 percent of capacity, or 0.1 percent higher than the previous week.
Total oil stocks, including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that remained steady at 695.1 million barrels, declined by 2 million barrels to 2,035.7 million barrels.