U.S. crude oil and fuel stockpiles fell last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Sept. 23.
Crude inventories fell by 1.6 million barrels in the week to Sept. 18 to 494.4 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.3 million-barrel drop.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., delivery hub rose by 4,000 barrels in the last week, EIA said.
"Everything came in more bullish, or with bigger draws, than expected across the board," said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, who added that the market's subdued reaction was in part because energy traders were likely to discount some of the drawdowns due to ongoing storm activity.
"They seem to have a tendency to throw out numbers after a storm," he said.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 3.4 million barrels in the week to 175.9 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1 million-barrel rise.
Those stockpiles have been sitting near record levels for some time, as overall distillate demand has been weak. Overall distillate product supplied rose sharply in the most recent week, though it is still down nearly 10% year-to-date.
"The distillate overhang that we've seen most of this year has been a primary bearish consideration to the energy complex and as that begins to adjust lower that can be viewed as supportive," said Tony Headrick, energy markets analyst at CHS Hedging.
Crude production slipped to 10.7 million bbl/d, down in part due to storm activity that closed offshore drilling sites in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 267,000 bbl/d, EIA said.
U.S. gasoline stocks fell by 4 million barrels in the week to 227.5 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 648,000-barrel drop.
Refinery crude runs fell by 118,000 bbl/d last week, EIA said.
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