December 17, 2018 / 5:59 PM / a year ago

U.S. crude stockpiles seen lower for third straight week: Reuters poll

(Reuters) - U.S. crude oil inventories were forecast to have fallen for the third consecutive week, while analysts expected a build in refined products last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: A pump jack lifts oil out of a well, during a sandstorm in Midland, Texas, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Saphir/File Photo

Six analysts polled ahead of reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated, on average, that crude stocks fell 2.5 million barrels in the week to Dec. 14.

Crude inventories USOILC=ECI fell by 1.2 million barrels in the week to Dec. 7, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 3 million barrels.

The API is scheduled to release its data for the latest week at 4:30 p.m. EST (2130 GMT) on Tuesday, and the weekly EIA report is due at 10:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday.

Analysts estimated that stockpiles of gasoline USOILG=ECI rose about 1.0 million barrels last week.

Distillate inventories USOILD=ECI, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, were seen up about 400,000 barrels in the past week, the poll showed.

The rate of refinery utilization USOIRU=ECI was expected to rise 0.3 percentage point from a reading of 95.1 percent of total capacity in the week ended Dec. 7, according to the poll.

All figures for fuel stocks in millions of barrels; refinery runs change measured in percentage points:

Organization Crude Distillates Gasoline Refinery

Runs

Citi Futures -4.0 1.0 1.5 1.0

Confluence -1.5 -1.0 1.5 0.0

Commodity Research Group -4.3 1.3 -0.5 -0.4

EMI DTN -3.4 -2.0 -2.0 1.1

Ritterbusch Associates -1.0 1.0 1.6 -0.4

Stratas Advisors -0.6 0.6 2.2 0.4

Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, editing by G Crosse

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