Crude oil inventories in the United States fell sharply last week as refiners lifted production, gasoline inventories rose and intermediate stocks fell, data from the US Petroleum Institute showed.
Crude inventories fell 10.2 million barrels in the week ending July 21 to 487 million barrels, while forecasts were for a 2.6 million barrel decline, the institute said.
The data showed that gasoline stocks increased by 1.9 million barrels, contrary to the expectations of analysts in a Reuters poll for a decrease of 614 thousand barrels.
Stocks of intermediate derivatives, including diesel and heating oil, fell 111,000 barrels, or below analysts’ average forecast of 453,000 barrels.
US petroleum imports fell by 568,000 barrels to 7.5 million bpd last week, according to API data.