HOUSTON, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. crude oil inventories increased in the week ending Oct. 12, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Wednesday.
According to the Weekly Petroleum Status Report, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 6.5 million barrels during last week. At 416.4 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 2 percent above the five-year average for this time of year.
In the previous week ending Oct. 5, EIA reported a large build of 6.0 million barrels, which caused concerns on demand side.
According to the EIA's report, U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.3 million barrels per day during last week, which was 77,000 barrels per day more than the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 88.8 percent of their operable capacity last week.
Gasoline production increased last week, averaging 10.4 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.8 million barrels per day.
U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.6 million barrels per day last week, up by 218,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the past four weeks, crude oil imports averaged about 7.7 million barrels per day, 3.5 percent more than the same four-week period last year.
U.S. crude oil exports averaged 1.8 million barrels per day last week, down by 794,000 barrels per day from the previous week.
EIA estimated that U.S. crude oil production last week was 10.9 million barrels per day, down by 300,000 barrels per day from the previous week.
Oil prices slumped on Wednesday, as official data showed that U.S. crude stockpiles rose for a fourth straight week.
The West Texas Intermediate for November delivery dropped 2.17 U.S. dollars to settle at 69.75 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for December delivery lost 1.36 dollars to 80.05 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.