November 29, 2017 / 5:10 PM / 18 days ago

U.S. crude stocks fall, but gasoline, distillates up: EIA

(Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stocks fell last week, led by the biggest fall in inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub in eight years, while gasoline and distillate stockpiles rose, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories fell 3.4 million barrels in the week to Nov. 24, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a decrease of 2.3 million barrels.

Most of the drop can be attributed to a fall in stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub, which was down by 2.9 million barrels, EIA said.

This was the largest weekly draw at Cushing since September 2009, and analysts attributed the decline to the shutdown of the Keystone crude pipeline on Nov. 16 after a leak of 5,000 barrels of oil in South Dakota.

“The headline crude oil drawdown was supportive, but it was a function of the Keystone pipeline outage, which impacted Cushing inventories,” said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital LLC in New York.

That line, operated by TransCanada Corp, was reopened on Tuesday.

Stocks of gasoline and distillates rose more than anticipated. Distillate inventories, which include diesel and heating oil, rose 2.7 million barrels, versus expectations for a 230,000-barrel increase, the EIA data showed.

Crude futures bounced around on the news, but as of 10:56 a.m. EST (1556 GMT), oil prices were marginally higher, with U.S. crude at $58.22 a barrel, up 23 cents on the day. Brent crude rose 31 cents to $63.92 a barrel.

The market also responded positively to news that Kuwait’s oil minister said a key committee recommended the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries extend its supply-cut agreement by nine months.

That had been expected, but there was some concern headed into OPEC’s decision, expected Thursday, that the agreement might not be extended that long.

The committee will grapple with rising U.S. production, which hit 9.68 million barrels per day (bpd) in the most recent week, a new weekly record.

Gasoline stocks rose 3.6 million barrels, compared with forecasts for a 1.2 million-barrel gain.

“The rise in refined product inventories more than offsets the crude oil inventory drop, and there was a notable, if not spectacular, drop in implied gasoline demand on the week,” said Kilduff.

Refinery crude runs rose by 165,000 bpd, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 1.3 percentage points.

U.S. crude imports fell last week by 365,000 bpd.

Reporting By David GaffenEditing by Marguerita Choy

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