New York — U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories jumped sharply higher, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories rose by 822,000 barrels in the week to Dec. 6 to 447.9 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.8 million-barrel drop. At 447.9 million barrels, crude stocks were about 4% above the five-year average for this time of year, the EIA said.
Stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) fell by 3.4 million barrels last week, their biggest decline since February 2018, the EIA said.
WTI extended losses after the data release, falling 60 cents a barrel to trade at $58.64 by 11:23 a.m. EST (1623 GMT). Brent crude fell 80 cents a barrel to trade at $63.54. “The report was bearish, due to several factors, including a small rise in crude oil inventories, which defied expectations, and a large increase in gasoline and distillate fuels,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management in New York.
Net U.S. crude imports rose last week by 633,000 barrels per day, the EIA said, while domestic production fell 100,000 bpd to 12.8 million bpd.
Refinery crude runs fell by 201,000 bpd as utilization rates fell 1.3 percentage points to 90.6% of total refining capacity, EIA data showed.
U.S. gasoline stocks rose by 5.4 million barrels in the week to 234.8 million barrels, the EIA said, more than double analysts’ expectations for a 2.5 million-barrel build.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 4.1 million barrels to 123.6 million barrels, versus forecasts for a 1.6 million-barrel gain.
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