By Dan Molinski
U.S. inventories of crude oil rose much more than expected last week as refinery activity continued to slow down, according to data released Thursday by the Energy Information Administration.
Benchmark U.S. oil prices, which were lower before the mostly bearish report was released, pared those declines afterward but remained slightly lower. The Nymex crude contract for November delivery was recently down 0.1%, at $53.33 a barrel.
Crude-oil stockpiles climbed by 9.3 million barrels to 434.9 million barrels, and are now 2% 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 rise by 2.3 million barrels from the prior week.
Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for U.S. stocks, rose by 1.3 million barrels to 43 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.
Gasoline stockpiles decreased by 2.6 million barrels to 226.2 million barrels, while analysts were expecting them to fall 1.2 million barrels from the previous week.
Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, decreased by 3.8 million barrels to 123.5 million barrels, and are now about 11% below the five-year average, the EIA said. Earlier in the week, analysts had forecast supplies would decrease by 2.1 million barrels from the previous week.
The refining capacity utilization rate unexpectedly slid by 2.6 percentage points from the previous week to 83.1%. Analysts were expecting the rate to rise by 0.2 percentage point.
U.S. oil inventories for the week ended Oct 11:
Crude Gasoline Distillates Use
EIA data: +9.3 -2.6 -3.8 -2.6
Forecast: +2.3 -1.2 -2.1 +0.2
Note: Numbers in millions of barrels, with the exception of refinery use, which is in percentage points.
Write to Dan Molinski at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 17, 2019 11:32 ET (15:32 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.