The energy sector received bullish inventory data Wednesday as the nation’s stockpiles of crude oil and refined fuels fell.
A week after hitting a record-high level of crude storage, U.S. commercial oil inventories fell by 2.2 million barrels. Likewise, gasoline stockpiles dipped by 3 million barrels and distillate fuel oil, used to make diesel and heating oils, fell another 2.2 million barrels, according to weekly U.S. Energy Department data.
The inventory news is expected to further boost oil prices, which have risen for much of April. The U.S. benchmark for oil was hovering above $53.50 a barrel Wednesday morning.
The energy industry, eyeing a global glut of crude supplies, was hoping to see storage levels fall. U.S. oil production has continued to rise in recent months, leading to record storage levels and largely offsetting the global cutbacks made by Saudi Arabia and other Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.