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U.S. crude stockpiles edge up, fuel draws down: EIA

(Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose modestly, in line with expectations, while gasoline and distillate inventories dipped last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude oil storage tanks are seen in an aerial photograph at the Cushing oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, U.S. April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Drone Base

    Crude inventories USOILC=ECI rose by 501,000 barrels in the week to Oct. 2 to 492.9 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 294,000-barrel rise.

Production was higher, rising to 11 million barrels per day from 10.7 million bpd in the previous week. That was a surprise to analysts, though that figure is likely to reverse in next week’s report as Hurricane Delta has already caused offshore facilities to shut.

“Domestic production was up 300k which was a bit bearish and may weigh on prices for a bit. Imports were up big 610k barrels and exports were down big. In my opinion those numbers are still being influenced by hurricane activity over the past couple of weeks,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.

    Net U.S. crude imports USOICI=ECI rose by 1.5 million bpd as exports alone dropped 853,000 bpd.

Fuel demand improved, the EIA said, with product supplied rising for both gasoline and distillates, which include diesel and heating oil. Over the last four weeks, product supplied, a proxy for demand, is still down 15% from the year-ago period as the United States remains burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Futures prices fell, sinking after U.S. President Donald Trump cut off talks for a new stimulus package on Tuesday. U.S. crude CLc1 was down 3% to $39.40 a barrel while Brent LCOc1 dropped 2.6% to $41.54 a barrel.

    U.S. gasoline stocks USOILG=ECI fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to 226.8 million barrels, their lowest since November of last year, compared with expectations for a 471,000-barrel drop.​

    Distillate stockpiles USOILD=ECI fell by 962,000 barrels, in line with expectations.

    Refinery crude runs USOICR=ECI rose by 183,000 bpd and refinery utilization rates USOIRU=ECI rose by 1.3 percentage points in the week.

Reporting By David Gaffen and Laura Sanicola

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