Crude output increased by 36,000 barrels a day to 9.24 million, according to data released by Energy Information Administration. However, stockpiles fell 2.17 million barrels, versus a 1.5 million barrel drop forecast by analysts polled by Bloomberg. Analysts attribute the decline in crude stocks to refiners increasing their production ahead of the upcoming summer “driving season” when motorists hit the road for vacations.
The drop translates to only a small slice of the almost 50 million barrel rise in US inventories thus far this year, and came at a time when crude was rallying on expectations that the oil market was finally beginning to tighten. OPEC, in its monthly report released Wednesday, said it now saw US production rising by 540,000 barrels per day, a sharp 200,000 barrels a day increase from last month. U.S. Crude May futures were last seen just above the $53-mark.