Nov. 15–U.S. crude oil inventories jumped more than 10 million barrels and oil prices rose less than a percent as U.S. production continues to grow.
The Department of Energy said crude oil inventories grew to 442.1 million barrels, about 5 percent higher than the five year average. Gasoline inventories decreased 1.4 million barrels last week and
are about 7 percent higher than the five year average for this time of year.
Prices for West Texas Intermediate, the American benchmark, rose 30 cents to $56.64 a barrel after the inventory figures were released. Prices for WTI are down nearly $20 a barrels since they peaked at $76.41 a barrel on Oct. 3.
The crude oil inventory build comes as the Energy Department estimates oil production from shale plays will continue to grow in December by 113,000 barrels a day. U.S. oil production is already at record levels of 11.6 million barrels a day.
The Energy Department also reported that at the end of the refilling season in Oct. natural gas stocks were at their lowest levels in 13 years, with only 3.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in storage on Oct. 31. The previous lowest level was just under 3.2 trillion cubic feet on Oct. 31, 2005.
The Energy Department said low temperatures in April led to increased natural gas use, and that replenishing of natural gas stocks were below five-year averages.
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