(Reuters) - U.S. crude inventories were forecast to have risen for the fourth time in five weeks, while refined product stockpiles likely fell last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.
Seven 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 crude stocks rose 400,000 barrels in the week ended March 23.
Crude inventories fell 2.6 million barrels in the week to March 16, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 2.6 million barrels.
The API is scheduled to release its data for last week at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) on Tuesday, and the EIA report is due at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday.
Analysts forecast that stockpiles of gasoline fell 2 million barrels last week.
Distillate inventories, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, were seen to have decreased by 1.5 million barrels last week, the poll showed.
The rate of refinery utilization was projected to gain 0.2 percentage point from 91.7 percent of total capacity in the week ended March 16, according to the poll.
(This version of the story corrects crude stock estimate to 400,000 barrels in second paragraph)
Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Brown