Despite a second straight uptick in production and a rare weekly decline in demand this summer, U.S. crude oil inventories plunged notably for a fourth consecutive week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

U.S. commercial crude inventories — excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — decreased by 7.9 million bbl in the July 9 week from the previous week, the EIA said. The decline extended more than two months of draws overall and pushed oil stocks to 437.6 million bbl, 8% below the five-year average, EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed. The decline reflected demand momentum over the past several weeks, and an expectation that it would continue through the summer.

Domestic production rose by 100,000 bbl last week – following a