March 5, 2014 / 4:10 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. crude stocks build on rising imports, dip in refinery output

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose more than expected last week as imports rose and refinery output fell, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.

Crude oil inventories rose 1.4 million barrels in the week ending Feb. 28, compared to analysts’ expectations for a build of 1.3 million barrels.

Imports rose by 75,000 bpd and refinery utilization slipped 0.6 percent.

Stocks of distillates rose by 1.4 million barrels, confounding analysts’ expectations for a 1.2 million barrel draw. Gasoline stocks fell 1.6 million barrels, slightly more than analysts’ expectations of a 1.2 million barrel draw.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, hub fell by 2.7 million barrels, the fifth straight week of draws as new pipelines continued to move oil to the Gulf Coast.

U.S. benchmark oil futures extended losses and were down more than $1 in the minutes after the data was released.

Heating oil futures extended losses after the data and by 10:40 a.m. EST (1540 GMT) the contract was 3 cents lower at $3.0075 a gallon.

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