Jan 18, 2024 - Energy & Environment

Surprise drop in U.S. oil stockpiles boosts crude prices

Data: EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. oil stockpiles dropped more than expected last week, giving crude prices a lift.

Why it matters: The U.S. hasn't seen prices rise related to the expanding fighting in the Mideast, as domestic producers and rising imports from non-OPEC countries like Guyana and Brazil have generated ample supplies.

Yes, but: The update from the Energy Information Administration on Thursday suggests that the strength of the U.S. economy continues to make it thirsty for crude.

  • By the numbers: U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 2.5 million barrels from the previous week, to 429.9 million barrels in the week ending Jan. 12.

The bottom line: U.S. benchmark crude oil prices rose on the news, with a barrel of benchmark West Texas Intermediate up nearly 2% to just under $74 a barrel.

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