Commercial oil reserves in the US fall 2.5 million barrels in a week

The commercial oil reserves Crude oil in the United States fell much more than expected last week, according to figures released this Wednesday by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA).

During the week ended March 18, US crude oil reserves decreased by 2.5 million barrels (mdb) – analysts had expected a reduction of 750,000 barrels -, thus falling to 413.4 million barrels.

For Matt Smith, an analyst at the Kpler firm, the decline is all the more notable in that US strategic reserves also fell significantly, by 4.2 million barrels, to 571.3 million barrels.

This is the 25th consecutive week of decline in strategic crude oil reserves.

Already headed higher, the price of crude rose further after the disclosure.

By 15:00 GMT in London, a barrel of North Sea Brent for May delivery rose 5.42% to $121.74. Meanwhile, in New York, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), rose 5.20% to $114.96.

The other surprise in the EIA report came from gasoline stockpiles, which plunged 2.9 million barrels during the week, while the market had expected a drop of 1.85 million barrels.

While falling Russian exports put further pressure on already insufficient global supplies of crude and refined products, US oil production was flat for the week at 11.6 million barrels per day.

On the other hand, US exports rose 31% compared to the previous seven days, “due to large flows to Europe to replace Russian barrels and a rebound in Asian demand,” explained Matt Smith.

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