By Dan Molinski

U.S. crude-oil inventories decreased last week but domestic production rose to an 18-month-high, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

Benchmark U.S. oil prices that were sharply higher before the mixed-to-bearish report was released reduced some of those gains afterward. The Nymex front-month crude contract for January delivery was recently up 3.1% at $68.25 a barrel.

Crude-oil stockpiles fell by 909,000 barrels to 433.1 million barrels, and are now about 6% below the five-year average, the EIA said. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted crude stockpiles would fall by 800,000 barrels from the prior week.

Oil stored at Cushing, the delivery point for U.S. stocks, rose by 1.2 million barrels from the previous week, to 28.5 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.

U.S. crude-oil production increased by 100,000 barrels a day to 11.6 million barrels a day, the highest since May 2020, according to EIA.

Gasoline stockpiles jumped by 4 million barrels to 215.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for inventories to decrease by 500,000 barrels from the previous week.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, rose by 2.2 million barrels to 123.9 million barrels, and are now about 9% below the five-year average, the EIA said. Analysts were forecasting distillates inventories would be unchanged from the previous week.

The refining capacity utilization rate rose by a smaller-than-forecast 0.2 percentage points from the previous week to 88.8%, compared with analysts' forecasts for a 0.6 percentage point increase.

U.S. oil inventories for the week ended Nov. 26:

             Crude  Gasoline  Distillates  Refinery Use 
EIA data:    -0.9   +4.0      +2.2         +0.2 
Forecast:    -0.8   -0.5      unch         +0.6 

Note: Numbers in millions of barrels, with the exception of refinery use, which is in percentage points.

Write to Dan Molinski at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 01, 2021 11:06 ET (16:06 GMT)

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