By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com — U.S. crude stockpiles rose last week in line with expectations and for a seventh straight week, reaching their highest in 20 months.
U.S. crude inventories rose by 2.423 million barrels during the week ended Feb. 1, the Energy Information Administration, or EIA, said in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report.
Industry analysts tracked by Investing.com forecast a build of 2.457M barrels on the average for last week compared with the 4.14M-barrel rise during the previous week to Jan 27.
The EIA has reported a total crude build of nearly 37M barrels over the past seven weeks.
At current standing, these stockpiles are at their highest since June 2021, said the EIA, the statistical arm of the U.S. Energy Department.
Crude output itself rose by 100,000 bpd, or barrels per day, to reach 12.3M bpd or the highest since April 2020, when the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic left production sky-high versus rock-bottom demand.
Crude exports, meanwhile, tumbled 17% on the week, to 2.9M bpd from 3.492M bpd the prior week.
On the gasoline inventory front, the EIA reported a build of 5M barrels, versus the forecast of 1.271M and the previous week’s rise of 2.576M.
Gasoline inventories have gone up by almost 16M barrels since 2023 began. Automotive fuel gasoline is the No. 1 U.S. fuel product.
Distillate stockpiles rose by 2.932M versus the expected 0.097M. In the previous week, the distillate build stood at 2.32M.
Until recently, distillates, which are refined into heating oil, diesel for trucks, buses, trains, and ships, and fuel for jets, were the strongest component of the U.S. petroleum complex in terms of demand. Prior to the build two weeks ago, distillate stockpiles had fallen by around 5M barrels over four weeks.