NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week as imports soared, while gasoline and distillate inventories fell more than expected, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories USOILC=ECI rose by 1.6 million barrels in the week to March 23, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 287,000 barrels.
Stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. crude futures USOICC=ECI rose by 1.8 million barrels, EIA said.
Net U.S. crude imports USOICI=ECI rose last week by 1.1 million barrels per day.
“It was a big import week, and they were up over a million barrels a day. So that’s where you get your build from,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.
Crude production also rose 26,000 bpd in the week, hitting a fresh record of 10.433 million bpd last week.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures for May delivery fell 91 cents to $64.34 a barrel, a 1.4 percent loss, by 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 GMT).
June Brent crude futures LCOc2 were down 72 cents at $68.74 barrel while the May contract LCOc1, which expires on Thursday, fell 59 cents to $69.52 a barrel, a 0.8 percent loss.[O/R]
Refinery crude runs USOICR=ECI rose by 18,000 bpd and refinery utilization rates USOIRU=ECI inched up 0.6 percentage point to 92.3 percent of total capacity, the EIA data showed..
Gasoline stocks USOILG=ECI fell by 3.5 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2 million-barrel drop.
Distillate stockpiles USOILD=ECI, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2.1 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.6 million-barrel drawdown, the EIA data showed.
Reporting By Jessica Resnick-Ault; Editing by Marguerita Choy