Crude oil inventories dropped unexpected in the recent week, according to data released Wednesday morning by the Energy Information Administration.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels in the week ended May 8. Experts were looking for an increase of about 1.4 million barrels. At 370.6 million barrels, inventories are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year.
Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 4.1 million barrels last week. Experts were calling for a build of about 400,000 barrels.
Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components inventories decreased last week. Meanwhile, distillate fuel inventories increased by 1.0 million barrels and propane/propylene inventories increased by 700,000 barrels last week. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 1.2 million barrels last week, and are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.
Although the draw came as a surprise, traders got a hint of what was to come last night. The American Petroleum Institute said stockpiles were down 3.13 million barrels last week in its weekly report. Refineries are required to participate in the government data but not the API report.
Crude oil prices turned higher following the report, but remained off its highs of the day. Light sweet crude for June moved to $59.26, up 41 cents on the session. Earlier, prices touched as high as $59.90 after reaching $60.08 yesterday.
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