By Zeynep Beyza Kilic
ANKARA (AA) - Crude oil inventories and production surged in the U.S. last week, pushing oil prices down, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Commercial crude oil stocks increased by 4.7 million barrels, or 1%, to 476.8 million barrels for the week ending May 17, the EIA data showed.
Accordingly, global oil prices fell, as the expectation for oil stocks was a decline of 600,000 barrels.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $70.31 per barrel at 0606 GMT on Thursday while American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at $60.88 a barrel at the same time.
Data shows that strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, declined by 1.1 million to 644.8 million barrels last week.
Gasoline inventories increased by 3.7 million barrels, or 1.7%, to 228.7 million barrels during that period. During the previous week, gasoline inventories saw a decline of 1.1 million barrels.
The U.S.' crude oil production rose by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 12.2 million bpd (mbpd) for the week ending May 17, the EIA data showed.
Crude oil imports fell by 669,000 barrels to 6.94 mbpd while exports dropped to 2.92 mbpd, down by 425,000.