September 26, 2012 / 3:50 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. oil stocks fall on large drop in imports-EIA

* Net crude imports fall to lowest since Dec 2011
    * U.S. oilfield production rises to highest since 1997
    * Demand for distillates down 8.7 percent from year earlier

 (Adds table, details, comment and price reaction)
                  ------   API   ------    ------   EIA    -----  
                 Stocks  Change  Change    Stocks  Change  Change  
               09/21/12    from    from  09/21/12    from    from  
                         pvs wk  yr-ago            pvs wk  yr-ago  
Crude             361.8     0.3    14.5     365.2    -2.4    24.2  
Distillate        127.3    -0.5   -29.7     127.7    -0.5   -29.9  
Gasoline          197.9     0.1   -19.4     195.8    -0.5   -19.0  
Heating oil        27.8    -1.1   -12.8      27.6    -0.8   -13.2  
RFG gasoline        0.1     0.0    -0.1       0.1    -0.1    -0.2  
Kerosene           43.0     0.6    -2.8      44.0     0.6    -1.6  
Crude runs (bpd)   14.7    -0.2     0.1      14.6    -0.3    -0.6  
Refinery runs
    (percent)      86.9    -0.9     1.0      87.4    -1.5    -0.4
Product supplied 
    (4-week moving average)------------------18.4    -0.2    -0.6
  
    
    NEW YORK, Sept 26 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil and refined product stockpiles
fell unexpectedly last week as crude imports plunged, government data showed on
Wednesday.   
    Domestic stocks of crude fell by 2.45 million barrels to 365.18 million
barrels, the Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts polled by
Reuters had forecast a stock increase of 900,000 barrels. 
    U.S. imports of crude dropped by 2.25 million barrels per day (bpd) from the
previous week, to 7.55 million bpd. 
    Crude stocks dropped even as EIA figures showed U.S. oilfield production
rose to the highest level since 1997 last week. Output reached 6.5 million bpd,
up from a 2012 average of just above 6 million bpd. 
    Refinery utilization fell by 1.5 percentage points to 87.4 percent of
capacity. Analysts had forecast a rise in plant utilization of 0.3 percentage
point.
    U.S. gasoline inventories fell by 481,000 barrels to 195.83 million barrels.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected an increase of 200,000 barrels. 
    U.S. distillate stocks, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by
482,000 barrels to 127.75 million barrels, compared with analysts' average
forecast for an increase of 800,000 barrels.
    U.S. crude futures extended losses after the release of the EIA data.
By 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), they were trading down $2.22 at $89.15 per barrel.
    Demand for refined oil products fell from year-earlier levels. Distillate
demand, on a four-week-average basis, fell by a sharp 8.7 percent from a year
before, while gasoline demand dipped 1 percent, EIA figures showed.  
    "Demand for gasoline continues to be poor, and the 
distillate category has posted a second week of stunning demand 
decline," said John Kilduff, of New York hedge fund Again Capital. 
    "If that trend continues, more declines are in store for energy prices." 
    Crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, fell by 83,000 barrels to 43.73
million barrels. 
    Net crude oil imports fell last week to the lowest since December 2011. U.S.
gasoline stocks dipped to their lowest level since 2008. 
    The largest regional crude draw occurred on the East Coast, or PADD 1, where
stocks dropped by 2.93 million barrels. EIA figures showed that PADD 1 refinery
utilization dropped last week by a sharp 8.6 percentage points to 82.5 percent. 
    

 (Reporting by Joshua Schneyer, Selam Gebrekidan, Janet McGurty, Robert Gibbons
and Edward McAllister; Editing by Dale Hudson)
 (matthew.robinson@thomsonreuters.com; 646 223 6052; Reuters Messaging:
matthew.robinson.reuters.com@reuters.net)

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