NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week even as gasoline and distillate inventories fell more than expected, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.
Crude inventories USOILC=ECI rose 1.3 million barrels in the week to May 13, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 2.8 million barrels and a 1.1 million-barrel drawdown reported on Tuesday by a trade group, the American Petroleum Institute.
“On the crude oil front, the EIA report was disappointing at best given the surprise build,” said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in New York.
“Both PADD 2 (the Midwest) and Cushing built in an area that should have been most impacted by the Canadian wildfires,” he said, referring to the blaze began in early May and has cut Canadian oil output by a million barrels per day.
U.S. crude imports USOICI=ECI, however, still rose last week by 22,000 bpd, while stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for crude futures USOICC=ECI rose 461,000 barrels, hitting a fresh record high, the data showed.
U.S. crude futures CLc1 turned negative after the report, falling 1 cent to $48.30 a barrel at 11:18 a.m. EDT. Brent crude LCOc1 fell 4 cents a barrel to $49.24.
Refinery crude runs USOICR=ECI rose 192,000 bpd and utilization rates USOIRU=ECI increased 1.4 percentage points to 90.5 percent of total capacity.
Gasoline stocks USOILG=ECI fell 2.5 million barrels, compared forecasts for a 150,000-barrel drop.
Distillate stockpiles USOILD=ECI, which include diesel and heating oil, fell 3.2 million barrels, versus expectations for a 642,000-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.
The drawdown of products lent counterbalanced the crude build, said Chris Jarvis, analyst at Caprock Risk Management in Frederick, Maryland.
“Overall, the strength in products, which is now over 20 million barrels per day, and the seasonality heading into peak driving season should give a bullish bias to today’s data points,” Jarvis said.
Reporting by Josephine Mason and Jessica Resnick-Ault with additional reporting by Barani Krishnan; Editing by Marguerita Choy