U.S. crude inventories, refined products likely fell last week

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

(Reuters) - U.S. crude stockpiles were seen declining last week after rising for two straight weeks, and refined product inventories also likely fell, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

Five analysts polled ahead of inventory reports from industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) and the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated, on average, that data would show crude stocks fell about 1.2 million barrels in the week ended May 4.

Crude inventories jumped by 6.2 million barrels to about 436 million barrels in the week to April 27, compared with expectations for an increase of 739,000 barrels. The build was largely concentrated on the West Coast, where inventories rose by nearly 5 million barrels.

The API is scheduled to release its data for last week at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, and the EIA report is due at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday.

Analysts forecast that stockpiles of gasoline fell about 1 million barrels last week.

Distillate inventories, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, were seen declining 1.4 million barrels last week, the poll showed.

The rate of refinery utilization was projected to rise 0.5 percentage point from 91.1 percent of total capacity in the week ended April 27, according to the poll.

Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien