U.S. crude oil inventories rise, gasoline inventories fall amid shifting market dynamics

(MENAFN) The US energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a rise in crude oil and distillate inventories over the past week, while gasoline inventories saw a decline. Specifically, crude inventories increased by 1.8 million barrels, reaching a total of 458.8 million barrels in the week ending May 17. This rise contrasted sharply with the expectations of analysts polled by Reuters, who had predicted a decrease of 2.5 million barrels. Additionally, crude oil inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery center saw a substantial increase of 1.3 million barrels.

The report also highlighted that refinery crude consumption grew by approximately 227,000 barrels per day, with the refinery operating rate climbing by 1.3 percent over the week. Despite these increases, gasoline inventories fell by 900,000 barrels, bringing the total down to 226.8 million barrels. This decline was slightly larger than analysts' expectations of a 700,000-barrel decrease.

In contrast, distillate stocks, which encompass diesel and heating oil, rose by 400,000 barrels to 116.7 million barrels, contrary to the anticipated decrease of 400,000 barrels. Furthermore, the EIA noted a significant reduction in net US imports of crude oil, which fell by 676,000 barrels per day.

These developments reflect shifting dynamics in the US oil market, influenced by varying levels of consumption, import adjustments, and the operational capacities of refineries. The unexpected increase in crude and distillate inventories, alongside the decline in gasoline stocks, underscores the complex balance of supply and demand factors currently at play.



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