The latest US Energy Information Administration storage report delivered on Wednesday showed that crude inventories declined by 1.753 million barrels for the week ended May 12th compared to projections of a 2.360 million barrel decrease. Crude stocks have been falling after hitting a record high of 535.5 million during the last week of March. Total inventories now stand at 520.8 million barrels, 3.00% below those highs.
The EIA also reported a dip in gasoline stockpiles by 413,000 barrels, while distillate stocks fell 1.944 million barrels last week, adding to notion that the supply overhang is slowly fading. The big news was that after 14-straight weeks of production gains, daily output fell to 9.305 million barrels per day last week, contrasting sharply with the 17-weeks of gains in the rig count. The benchmark Brent July futures are currently perched just above the strong support at $52.00 a barrel.