July 05–U.S. stockpiles of crude oil unexpectedly rose by a bit last week, although the increase was largely offset by a decline in refined gasoline supplies.
Commercial crude inventories jumped by 1.2 million barrels last week after trade groups and analysts had predicted a decrease. However, gasoline stocks fell by 1.5 million barrels.
The benchmark for U.S. oil prices is hovering near $73 a barrel after quickly falling by more than $1 a barrel after the U.S. Energy Department released the inventories data Thursday. The country’s commercial crude stockpiles are just below the five-year average.
The country’s oil production is remaining at the record high of 10.9 million barrels a day that was set early last month, while crude exports declined from the new record of 3 million barrels a day set two weeks ago down to more than 2.3 million barrels daily.
Oil prices have risen back to recent highs since OPEC reached a deal for just modest oil production increases last month.
The United States’ record production has plateaued for now, in part because of pipeline bottlenecks in West Texas’ booming Permian Basin. Most pipelines are filled to capacity, and more companies are resorting to transporting oil via trucks.
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