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Image courtesy of Chris Potter/Flickr.

U.S. crude inventories posted a larger than expected decline last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA said on Wednesday that U.S. commercial crude inventories posted a 2.5 million barrel draw during the week of August 12.

The inventory decline exceeded the forecast from the American Petroleum Institute that had anticipated a 1 million barrel decline, according to Oil Price.

Despite the draw down, U.S. commercial crude inventories stood at 521.1 million barrels during the week ending on August 12, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a historically high level for this time of year.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 8.2 million barrels per day last week, down by 211,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports averaged over 8.4 million barrels per day, an 11.3 percent increase compared to the same four-week period last year.

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged about 16.9 million barrels per day last week, up 268,000 barrels per day from the previous week’s average.

Refineries operated at 93.5 percent of their operable capacity last week.

Gasoline production grew last week and averaged 10.3 million barrels per day.

Total motor gasoline inventories declined by 2.7 million barrels last week, but are “well above the upper limit of the average range,” the agency said.

Distillate fuel production also increased to an average of over 4.9 million barrels per day last week.

Distillate fuel inventories grew by 1.9 million barrels last week and are “near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year,” the EIA said.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged about 20.8 million barrels per day, up 1.4 percent year-over-year.

Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged about 9.8 million barrels per day, a 1.7 percent increase from the same period last year.

Distillate fuel product supplied averaged over 3.7 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, a 0.3 percent gain from the same period last year.

Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels last week, the EIA said.