November 22, 2017 / 3:49 PM / a year ago

U.S. crude inventories fall; big draw at Cushing hub

(Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell last week, with most of the decline coming out of the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub, while gasoline and distillate inventories rose slightly, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub, in Cushing, Oklahoma, March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo

Crude inventories fell 1.9 million barrels in the week to Nov. 17, slightly more than analysts’ forecasts in a Reuters poll for a decrease of 1.5 million barrels, but much less than 6.4 million-barrel draw reported by industry group the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday.

Crude stocks in Cushing fell by 1.8 million barrels, EIA said. The key U.S. storage hub and delivery point for U.S. crude futures could see additional draws in coming weeks, depending on how long the U.S.-Canada Keystone pipeline, which delivers to Cushing, is shut.

That line was shut last week after about 5,000 barrels of oil spilled from the line in South Dakota, contributing to a rise in crude futures. TransCanada Corp, which operates the line, is cutting deliveries through at least the end of the month.

Oil futures dipped on the EIA report, pulling back from earlier gains. U.S. crude futures were up 74 cents to $57.56 a barrel as of 10:50 a.m. EST (1550 GMT), giving back earlier gains that saw the contract touch $58.05.

“Current price levels are still inciting U.S. companies to produce more, which will remain a concern for the OPEC ahead of the cartel’s November meeting,” said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy’s Global Gas Analytics in London.

U.S. crude imports fell last week by 487,000 barrels per day as export rose 462,000 bpd.

Crude production rose to another weekly record of 9.66 million bpd; monthly U.S. production exceeded 10 million bpd in the 1970s, according to government figures.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, along with other key producers, are expected to extend their supply-cut agreement when the group meets on Nov. 30. OPEC and others cut supply by 1.8 million bpd starting in January 2017; the current agreement extends through March 2018.

U.S. distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose 269,000 barrels, versus expectations for a 1.2 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed. Overall, distillate inventories have been trending downward in recent weeks.

Refinery crude runs rose by 199,000 bpd as utilization rates rose by 0.3 percentage point to 91.3 percent of total capacity, EIA data showed.

Gasoline stocks rose by 44,000 barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 737,000-barrel gain.

Reporting By David Gaffen; additional reporting by Scott DiSavinoEditing by Marguerita Choy

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