U.S. crude oil inventories witness strong decline amid increasing refinery activity

(MENAFN) U.S. crude oil inventories saw a notable decline, falling by 3.4 million barrels to 445.1 million barrels in the week ending July 5. This drop was significantly larger than analysts' expectations, which had predicted a 1.3 million-barrel draw. The U.S. energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday that crude oil inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub also fell by 702,000 barrels during the week.

Additionally, the EIA noted an increase in crude consumption by refineries, which rose by 317,000 barrels per day. This uptick in activity contributed to a 1.9 percentage point rise in the refinery utilization rate for the week. Gasoline stocks experienced a decrease of 2 million barrels, bringing the total to 229.7 million barrels.

On the other hand, distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, saw a substantial rise of 4.9 million barrels, reaching 124.6 million barrels. This increase far exceeded expectations of a 0.8 million-barrel rise. The EIA also reported that net U.S. imports of crude oil increased by 615,000 barrels per day, highlighting dynamic shifts in the crude oil market and refinery operations. 



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