May 8, 2012 / 9:05 PM / 7 years ago

U.S. crude stocks rise sharply, products fall - API

NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. crude stocks shot up more than expected last week while refined fuel inventories fell, data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday.

U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 7.8 million barrels in the week to May 4, trumping analysts’ expectations of a 2-million-barrel build, the API said.

Crude stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate crude, rose by 1.2 million barrels.

Gulf Coast crude inventories showed the biggest build, up 4.7 million barrels for the week, while Midwest inventories rose by nearly 2.3 million barrels.

U.S. crude imports declined by 551,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 8.66 million bpd.

Gasoline inventories fell by 5 million barrels last week, far higher than the 100,000-barrel drop analysts had projected.

Domestic distillate stockpiles also fell, by 2.7 million barrels, compared with forecasts of a 100,000-barrel build.

East Coast stockpiles led the product drawdown nationwide, with gasoline inventories in the region off nearly 2.4 million barrels and distillate stocks down 2.2 million barrels.

U.S. refinery rates rose by 1.1 percentage points to 85 percent of capacity, also higher than analysts’ expectations for a 0.3-percentage-point increase.

U.S. crude oil prices extended losses after the API released its numbers.

Traders will now await data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration for confirmation of the API report. Last week, EIA data showed Cushing inventories of crude at a record high for the week to April 27, while overall U.S. crude stocks reached the highest level since 1990.

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