According to EIA reports on Thursday,
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 1.9 million barrels from the previous week to 359.9 million barrels, giving an immediate boost to the crude oil market price. However, the inventory is high compared to the same period last year.
Among the petroleum products, total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 0.2 million barrels last week, distillate fuel inventories decreased by 0.4 million barrels, and both are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year.
Total products supplied over the last four-week period has averaged 19.6 million barrels per day, up by 0.7 percent compared to the similar period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline demand has averaged 9.4 million barrels per day, up by 1.1 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel demand has averaged 3.8 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, up by 9.4 percent from the same period last year.
In the meantime, stock in natural gas rose 58 billion cubic feet in the September 3 week, higher than expected.
Note: Financial markets have begun to monitor closely crude oil inventory since 2004. It is general believed that sharp price hikes in crude oil accompany falling inventories while price declines concur with rising inventories.