December 4, 2019 / 3:45 PM / 6 days ago

Crude stocks fall more than expected, fuel inventories jump: EIA

FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate at sunset in Midland, Texas, U.S., February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

(Reuters) - U.S. crude stocks fell last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories rose, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories fell by 4.9 million barrels in the week to Nov. 29, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 1.7 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 302,000 barrels, EIA said.

“The much larger-than-expected crude oil inventory drawdown makes for a bullish report,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management in New York. “There was a large increase in the refinery utilization rate, which drove crude oil demand appreciably higher on the week.”

Oil prices extended gains after the data, while ultra-low sulfur diesel and gasoline futures pared gains. U.S. crude futures traded up $2.31 a barrel at $58.41 by 10:54 a.m. EDT (1554 GMT). Brent crude was up $2.36 at $63.18 a barrel.

Refinery crude runs rose by 464,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 2.6 percentage points.

Gasoline stocks rose by 3.4 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.8 million-barrel gain.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 3.1 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.1 million-barrel increase, the EIA data showed.

Net U.S. crude imports rose last week by 144,000 barrels per day. The U.S. four-week average for commercial crude oil imports fell to its lowest since 1992.

Reporting by David Gaffen; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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