Crude oil inventories in the U.S. moved up during the week ended March 23, official data showed Wednesday.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration in its weekly crude oil report said U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 7.10 million barrels to 353.40 million barrels last week, and are in the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.
The week before, crude oil inventories decreased by 1.20 million barrels to 346.30 million barrels.
Meanwhile, total motor gasoline inventories moved down by 3.50 million barrels last week, after decreasing 1.20 million barrels in the prior week, but are in the upper limit of the average range.
Analysts were expecting crude oil inventories to gain 2.55 million barrels and gasoline stocks to ease by 1.55 million barrels last week.
Late Tuesday, data from the API revealed that U.S. crude oil inventories jumped 3.60 million barrels and gasoline stocks added 1.30 million barrels in the week ended March 23.
Oil refinery inputs averaged just under 14.50 million barrels per day during the week, which were 88,000 barrels per day above the previous week's average as refineries operated at 84.50 percent of their operable capacity.
Meantime, U.S. crude oil imports during the week averaged about 9.30 million barrels per day last week, up by 1.0 million barrels per day from the previous week, official data revealed. Over the last four weeks, imports have averaged 8.70 million barrels per day, which were 44,000 barrels per day below the same four-week period last year.
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for May delivery are losing $2.16 to $105.17 a barrel.
by RTT Staff Writer
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