By Dan Molinski
U.S. inventories of crude oil fell much more than expected last week, while gasoline and diesel fuel stockpiles also slid, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.
Benchmark U.S. oil prices, which were sharply higher before the data was released, added to those gains after the report. The Nymex crude contract for August delivery was recently up 3.4% at $59.80 a barrel.
Crude-oil stockpiles dropped by 12.8 million barrels to 469.6 million barrels, and are now 5% above the five-year average for this time of year, the EIA said. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted crude stockpiles would fall by 2.6 million barrels from the prior week.
Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for U.S. stocks, fell by 1.7 million barrels to 51.8 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.
Gasoline stockpiles decreased by 996,000 barrels to 232.2 million barrels, while analysts in the survey were expecting levels to fall by just 200,000 barrels from the previous week.
Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel unexpectedly decreased by 2.4 million barrels to 125.4 million barrels, and are now about 7% below the five-year average for this time of year, the EIA said. Earlier in the week, analysts had forecast supplies would increase by 300,000 barrels from the previous week.
The refining capacity utilization rate rose by 0.3 percentage point from the previous week to 94.2%, an increase that matched analysts' forecasts.
U.S. oil inventories for week ended June 21:
Crude Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use
EIA data: -12.8 -1.0 -2.4 +0.3
Forecast: -2.6 -0.2 +0.3 +0.3
Note: Numbers in millions of barrels, with the exception of refinery use,
which is in percentage points.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 26, 2019 11:17 ET (15:17 GMT)
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