U.S. oil stockpiles fell across the board last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on March 9, at the same time the energy market contends with worries of globally tight supply after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Crude inventories fell by 1.9 million barrels in the week to March 4 to 411.6 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 657,000-barrel drop.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 585,000 barrels in the week to their lowest since August 2018, the EIA said.
U.S. crude stocks in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) fell to 577.5 million barrels, the lowest since July 2002.
Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden authorized an initial release of 30 million barrels of oil from the SPR amid the ongoing conflict involving Russia, a top oil exporter.
In fuel inventories, distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 5.2 million barrels in the week to 113.9 million barrels, their lowest since November 2014. Analysts had expected a 1.9 million-barrel drop.
Distillate stockpiles in the East Coast and the Gulf Coast regions fell to their lowest since June 2018 and June 2019, respectively.
U.S. gasoline stocks fell by 1.4 million barrels to 244.6 million barrels, the EIA said, compared with analysts' expectations for a 2.1 million-barrel drop.
"Gas and distillate inventories dropped as implied demand rose for both, while distillate exports rose strongly—helped by a rise bound for Europe, which could be to replace the impending loss of Russian supplies amid self-sanctioning," said Matt Smith, lead oil analyst Kpler.
Refinery crude runs fell by 21,000 bbl/d in the last week, while utilization rates rose by 1.6 percentage points, EIA data showed.
Net U.S. crude imports rose by 1.93 million bbl/d, the EIA said.
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