U.S. crude stocks rose by nearly 10 million barrels last week after another big release from government reserves, while distillate inventories fell sharply, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Oct. 13.
Crude inventories rose by 9.9 million barrels in the week to Oct. 7 to 439.1 million barrels, data showed, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.8 million-barrel rise.
The bulk of that bump in commercial stocks came from a 7.7 million-barrel release of reserves from U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), though inventories without those reserves also rose.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 4.9 million barrels to 106.1 million barrels, their lowest since May, versus expectations for a 2 million-barrel drop.
“Ongoing concerns on the diesel front is warranted with another 4.8 million draw there,” said Tony Headrick, energy market analyst at CHS Hedging.
That distillate drawdown came as heating oil demand is due to rise as winter months approach. Stockpiles of the fuel have remained tight due to heavy demand worldwide and refinery issues in both the U.S. and France.
U.S. exports of petroleum products rose last week to their highest on record at 7.1 million bbl/d, government data showed.
U.S. refiners have been running at above-average levels for this time of year to boost inventory levels, though they pulled back on activity last week.
Refinery crude runs fell by 278,000 bbl/d in the last week, while refinery utilization rates fell by 1.4 percentage points to 89.9% of overall capacity, the EIA said.
Gasoline stocks rose by 2 million barrels in the week to 209.5 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 1.8 million-barrel drop.
Oil prices rose on the news. Brent futures gained $1.49/bbl to $93.94, a 1.6% increase, as of 11:19 a.m. EDT (1519 GMT), while U.S. crude rose $1.46 to $88.73/bbl.
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