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U.S. crude stocks plunged 12.5M barrels last week - EIA

Investing.com -- U.S. crude stockpiles plunged by almost 12.5 million barrels last week, multifold to expectations, and fuel demand overshot forecasts too, the government agency responsible said on Wednesday as oil bulls bet on higher demand in the run-up to summer road, air and seaborne travel.

The U.S. crude inventory balance fell by 12.456 million barrels during the week ended May 19, the Energy Information Administration, or EIA, said in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report.

Analysts tracked by Investing.com had only forecast a crude draw of 0.920M for last week. In the prior week to May 12, the EIA reported a crude build of 5.04M barrels.

Historical EIA data showed last week’s draw to be the most since the week ended November 25, or the largest in six months.

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The EIA also reported a draw of 1.6M barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which the Biden administration has been tapping since late 2021 to ease crude supply tightness in the market. If that were to be added to total draws, the net decline in crude stockpiles last week would be above 14M barrels.

On the fuel side, the EIA reported larger deficits as well in weekly stockpiles of gasoline and distillates.

On the gasoline inventory front, the consensus draw was 2.053M barrels versus forecasts for a deficit of 0.695M and the previous weekly decline of 1.381M. Automotive fuel gasoline is the No. 1 U.S. fuel product.

With distillate stockpiles, the slide was more modest at 0.561M barrels, versus expectations for a build of 0.057M and the prior week’s deficit of 0.080M. Distillates are refined into heating oil, diesel for trucks, buses, trains and ships and fuel for jets.

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