US crude oil stores drop as refineries up production

US crude oil stockpiles drew down sharply last week as imports fell off and refineries ramped up production.
Total commercial crude oil stockpiles in the States shrank by 5.4m barrels to 457.8m during the week ended on 25 August, according to the Energy Information Administration, the US Department of Energy’s statistical arm.
In parallel, imports of crude averaged 7.9m b/d, 885,000 b/d less than in the prior week.
“Imports from Venezuela and Nigeria, which have both been hit by disruptions to supply, fell particularly sharply. But the approach of Hurricane Harvey may also have prevented some tankers from offloading supplies,” explained Capital Economics’s Thomas Pugh.
Gasoline stockpiles on the other hand were unchanged and near the top of their average range seen over the past five years, as refineries operated at 96.6% of capacity, while those of distillates increased by 0.7m b/d.
During the previous week, refineries had operated at 95.4% of capacity.
Domestic US oil output edged higher by 2,000 b/d to 9.53m b/d, thanks to a 14,000 b/d increase in Alaskan production to 460,000 b/d.
As of 1542 BST, prompt month WTI futures were down by 1.11% to $45.93 a barrel on the NYMEX