US crude inventories fell 7 million barrels last week, as an increase in refinery runs trumped a rise in crude imports, data released by the US Energy Information Administration showed. US crude stocks have fallen roughly 27 million barrels over the past 3 weeks, although NYMEX crude futures were only slightly bullish Wednesday. Bearish for NYMEX RBOB futures, however, was a 3.06 million barrel build in US gasoline stocks.Platts provides analysis here:
Despite the declines, U.S. crude oil stocks are still nearly 6.5% above the five-year average of EIA data.
Analysts surveyed Monday had been expecting a 2.5 million-barrel draw.
The draw was likely a product of continued strong crude oil runs at U.S. refineries, despite an uptick in imports. While crude oil runs at U.S. refineries have been surging, imports have been below seasonal norms.