US crude oil production hits new record high level

By Övunç Kutlu

Crude oil production in the U.S. reached a new record high last week, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday.

Production in the country rose by 104,000 barrels per day (bpd) to reach 11.2 million bpd for the week ending Oct. 5, the EIA data showed.

This also marked the 33rd time crude oil production in the U.S. showed an increase in the past 39 weeks.

Crude output in the state of Alaska rose by 4,000 bpd during that period, while production in other states increased by 100,000 bpd, according to the data.

Commercial crude oil inventories increased by 6 million barrels, or 1.5 percent, to 410 million barrels for the week ending Oct. 5. The market expectation was an increase of 2.6 million barrels. Crude stocks rose by 8 million barrels during the previous week.

– Oil price decline

With the rise in U.S. crude oil inventories and production, oil prices on the global market showed declines.

International benchmark Brent crude fell to $80.74 per barrel at 1516 GMT, while American benchmark West Texas Intermediate dropped to $71.14 a barrel at the same time.

Both benchmarks were down by more than 2 percent at that time of the day.

– Decline in strategic reserves

Gasoline inventories rose by 1 million barrels, or 0.4 percent, to 236.2 million barrels over the same period. The market expectation was a decrease of 42,000 barrels. The stocks had fallen by 500,000 barrels the week before.

Strategic petroleum reserves (SPR), which are not included in the commercial crude inventories, decreased by 1.3 million barrels, or 0.2 percent, to 658.7 million barrels.

A sale from the SPR was expected to come in October and November, as President Donald Trump had signaled during the summer. The sale is purported to be an attempt to lower gasoline prices in the U.S. to gain votes for Republicans who seek to maintain control in the Congress after the mid-term elections in early November.

Trump had also proposed a sale of half of the SPR to decrease the budget deficit. So far, Congress authorized the sale of 240 million barrels from the SPR between 2017 and 2027 to help balance the budget.

This article provided by NewsEdge.