HOUSTON, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a decrease of 6.799 million barrels of crude oil in U.S. inventories for the week ending May 19.
Analysts expected a hike of 0.525 million barrels for this week.
The API reported a surge of 3.69 million barrels in the previous week.
Crude oil futures prices advanced on Tuesday as Saudi energy minister's latest comments drove up expectations of another production cut by oil producing countries.
The West Texas Intermediate for July delivery gained 86 cents, or 1.19 percent, to settle at 72.91 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for July delivery moved up 85 cents, or 1.12 percent, to settle at 76.84 U.S. dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
U.S. commercial crude and gasoline inventory should have decreased by 500,000 barrels and 800,000 barrels last week, according to a survey by S&P Global.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is scheduled to issue weekly oil inventory data on Wednesday. ■