The nation’s glut of crude oil rose again this past week, but the small increase was more than offset by shrinking inventories of refined products like gasoline.
U.S. oil inventories grew by 600,000 barrels, but that’s a much smaller jump than the previous two weeks hikes of 9.5 million barrels and 13.8 million barrels. After a two-year oil bust, U.S. crude production has increased since late last year.
On the other hand, gasoline stockpiles fell by 2.6 million barrels and the inventories of distillate fuel oil, which is used to make diesel and heating oils, plummeted by 4.9 million barrels. That shows the nation’s refiners are making progress in working through the crude glut.
Oil pricing has responded favorably with the U.S. benchmark for oil priced at over $54 a barrel. Oil prices are near their highest levels since mid-2015, but well down from the $100 oil from as recently as mid-2014.