Houston Chronicle

The nation’s stockpiles of commercial crude oil plunged by 11.5 million barrels last week thanks to record-high crude exports, adding more bullish news to oil prices that already were spiking worldwide amid an escalating U.S. conflict with Iran.

Crude inventories plunge from record-high exports amid Iranian tensions- oil and gas 360

Source: Houston Chronicle

The U.S. exported nearly 4.5 million barrels of crude per day last week – easily a new weekly record – as concerns of a new war brewed in the Middle East.

The big drop in crude inventories was offset by gains in refined motor gasoline – 3.2 million barrels – and in distillate fuel oil – 8.8 million barrels – that’s used to make diesel and heating oils. However, drops in other grades of oils contributed to a cumulative dip of 2.9 million barrels of total U.S. petroleum stocks.

This new year is the first in which the U.S. is expected to become a net exporter of petroleum, including refined products. But the U.S. will remain a net importer of crude oil.

The U.S. is churning out an estimated record high of 12.9 million barrels of crude oil per day and exporting – at least last week – more than one-third of those supplies.

Crude prices jumped about 4 percent Thursday evening and Friday morning after President Trump ordered the targeted killing of a top Iranian general and an allied Iraqi militia leader.

The U.S. benchmark for oil traded well above $63 a barrel on Friday – its highest level in nearly nine months.

The killings – and the potential Iranian counterattacks – put the U.S. and Iran on the brink of a broader conflict and potential war.

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