NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude stocks fell last week, while gasoline stocks increased and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories fell by 497,000 barrels in the week to Dec. 14, a much smaller draw than the decrease of 2.4 million barrels that analysts had expected. The decline was the third consecutive decrease.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 1.09 million barrels, EIA said.
Crude stockpiles in the Midwest rose to the highest since early January.
U.S. crude futures were little changed after the data was released and were up $1.12 at $47.36 at 10:44 a.m. EST (1544 GMT). Ultra-low sulfur diesel futures extended gains after the data showed a surprise draw in inventories of distillates, which include diesel and heating oil.
“There was an appreciable rise in demand for the diesel fuel category and a rather large drawdown in stocks,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management in New York. “The crude oil drawdown, however, was much smaller-than-expected, which moderated the report, as did the large inventory increase at the Cushing delivery hub.”
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 4.2 million barrels, versus expectations for a 573,000 barrels increase, the EIA data showed.
Gasoline stocks rose by 1.8 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.2 million-barrel gain.
Refinery crude runs fell by 28,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 0.3 percentage points.
Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 21,000 barrels per day.
Editing by David Gregorio