February 12, 2020 / 4:10 PM / 3 days ago

U.S. crude stocks jump more than anticipated -EIA

(Reuters) - U.S. crude stocks rose more than expected while gasoline and distillate inventories fell last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Oil pump jacks work at sunset near Midland, Texas, U.S., August 21, 2019. Picture taken August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jessica Lutz

Crude inventories rose by 7.5 million barrels in the week to Feb. 7 to 442.5 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3 million-barrel rise.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 1.7 million barrels in the last week, EIA said.

Refinery crude runs rose by 48,000 barrels per day in the last week, EIA said. Refinery utilization rates rose by 0.6 percentage points.

Oil prices pared gains after the release, with U.S. crude futures up $1.38, or 2.8%, to $51.32 a barrel as of 10:53 a.m. ET (1553 GMT). Global benchmark Brent crude was up $1.72 to $55.73 a barrel.

“The main catalyst for the strong crude build is a pretty recent reduction in crude exports and an increase in imports, which came even as refinery operations increased,” said Tony Headrick, energy analyst at St. Paul, Minnesota-based commodity brokerage CHS Hedging.

The oil market has been pressured by worries about demand as the coronavirus has spread in China and killed more than 1,000 people. In the last two days, those fears have ebbed, bolstering the price of oil.

U.S. gasoline stocks fell by 95,000 barrels in the week to 261.1 million barrels, the EIA said, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 546,000-barrel rise.​

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2 million barrels in the week to 143.2 million barrels, versus expectations for a 557,000-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.

“Gasoline demand is starting to rebound, and the modest drawdown in refined fuels helped to offset the bearish, blaring crude oil headline,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in New York.

Net U.S. crude imports rose last week by 806,000 barrels per day in the last week, EIA said.

(This story corrects total U.S. inventories figure in paragraph two)

Reporting By Scott DiSavino and David Gaffen; Editing by David Gregorio

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