The US Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that domestic crude stockpiles fell by 3.327 million barrels during the week ended August 18th, following drawdowns in each of the prior seven weeks. This was slightly smaller than the forecast 3.450 million barrel stockpile decline. Apart from crude, gasoline inventories fell by 1.223 million barrels, while distillate stocks remained unchanged for the week.
Analysts were projecting a 643,000 barrel equivalent fall in gasoline stocks and a drop of 93,000 barrels for distillates. Even though US production rose, energy traders were more focused on developments tied to Tropical Storm Harvey and its potential to hamper oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. The US National Hurricane Center has issued a warning stating the storm could evolve into a hurricane by Friday. In the meantime, Brent crude futures were last seen around the $52.55-mark per barrel.