U.S. crude, fuel stocks fall in most recent week - EIA

A general view of the Phillips 66 Company's Los Angeles Refinery, which processes domestic & imported crude oil into gasoline, diesel fuel, and other petroleum products, in Carson, California, U.S., March 11, 2022. REUTERS/Bing Guan

Sept 28 (Reuters) - U.S. crude and fuels stocks posted surprising declines in the most recent week as fuel demand rose and refiners cut runs, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories (USOILC=ECI) fell by 215,000 barrels in the week to Sept. 23 to 430.6 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 443,000-barrel rise.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub (USOICC=ECI) rose by 692,000 barrels in the last week, EIA said.

"This is a pretty bullish report," said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho. "That's a surprise draw on crude oil. That's 1 million barrels going out the door."

Fuel drawdowns were driven by a spike in refining product supplied across the board, with notable increases in jet fuel, distillate fuel oil and finished gasoline.

Refining product supplied is the market's best proxy for demand; over the last four weeks, product supplied is down 3.1% from the year-ago period, representing a cooling in U.S. consumption.

"The narrative that demand is slowing isn't working, because total product supply demand is higher than it was a year ago, which changes the negative momentum in the marketplace," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Refinery crude runs (USOICR=ECI) fell by 604,000 barrels per day in the last week, EIA said. Refinery utilization rates (USOIRU=ECI) fell by 3 percentage points in the week, leaving overall capacity use at 90.6%, the highest seasonally since 2014.

U.S. gasoline stocks (USOILG=ECI) fell by 2.4 million barrels in the week to 212.2 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 709,000-barrel rise.​

Distillate stockpiles (USOILD=ECI), which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2.9 million barrels.

Net U.S. crude imports (USOICI=ECI) fell by 1.6 million barrels per day, the EIA said, as exports surged in the most recent week to 4.6 million bpd.

Oil prices added to earlier gains on the news. Brent crude was up $1.86, or 2.2%, to $88.13 a barrel as of 10:56 a.m. EST (1456 GMT). U.S. crude rose $2.32 to $80.82 a barrel, a 3% rise.

Reporting by David Gaffen; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Deepa Babington

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

David Gaffen oversees a team writing and reporting on oil and gas throughout North America; he previously worked at The Wall Street Journal and TheStreet.com