U.S. crude stocks drew more than expected on strong refining demand, while gasoline inventories posted a large draw after an increase in driving last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on July 6.
Crude inventories fell by 1.5 MMbbl in the last week to 452.2 MMbbl, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a drop of 1 MMbbl.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 400,000 bbl in the week ended June 30, EIA said.
"Refining run rate is high enough to put pressure on inventories," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York. "Gasoline demand was extraordinary, and reflective of the July 4th holiday travel."
Refinery crude runs fell by 224,000 bbl/d in the last week, EIA said.
Refinery utilization rates fell by 1.1 percentage points in the week to 91.1%.
U.S. gasoline stocks fell by 2.5 MMbbl in the week to 219.5 MMbbl, the EIA said, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a drop of 1.4 MMbbl.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1 MMbbl in the week to 113.4 MMbbl, versus expectations for a rise of 300,000 bbl, the EIA data showed. Net U.S. crude imports rose by 1.9 MMbbl/d, EIA said.
Oil prices, however, shrugged off the bullish EIA report and traded lower on fears of a U.S. interest rate hike.
Brent crude futures were down $1.34, or 1.6%, at $75.31 at 1123 a.m. ET, while U.S. crude futures were down $1.16, or 1.7%, at $70.61.
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