By Dan Molinski


U.S. inventories of crude oil inventories surprisingly increased, but gasoline supplies fell sharply, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

Benchmark U.S. oil prices, which were mostly flat before the mixed data were released, declined slightly afterward. The Nymex front-month crude contract for August delivery was recently down 0.2% at $40.55/bbl.

Crude-oil stockpiles climbed by 5.7 million barrels to 539.2 million barrels. That puts inventories about 18% above the five-year average, the EIA said. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted crude stockpiles would fall by 2.8 million barrels from the prior week.

U.S. crude-oil production remained unchanged from the previous week, at 11 million barrels a day, according to the EIA.

Oil stored at Cushing, the delivery point for U.S. stocks, rose by 2.2 million barrels to 47.8 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.

Gasoline stockpiles slid by 4.8 million barrels to 251.7 million barrels, while analysts were expecting them to fall by just 300,000 barrels from the previous week.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, rose by 3.1 million barrels to 177.3 million barrels, and are now about 27% above the five-year average, the EIA said. Earlier in the week, analysts had forecast distillate supplies would rise 200,0000 barrels from the previous week.

The refining capacity utilization rate jumped by 2 percentage points from the previous week to 77.5%, while analysts surveyed by WSJ were expecting a much-smaller, 0.5 percentage-point increase.


U.S. oil inventories for the week ended July 3:

           Crude Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use 
EIA data:  +5.7  -4.8     +3.1        +2.0 
Forecast:  -2.8  -0.3     +0.2        +0.5 

Note: Numbers in millions of barrels, with the exception of refinery use, which is in percentage points.


Write to Dan Molinski at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 08, 2020 11:12 ET (15:12 GMT)

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