June 13, 2018 / 3:04 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. crude, gasoline inventories drop sharply

(Updates throughout, adds additional details, quote, prices)

By David Gaffen

June 13 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil inventories fell more than anticipated last week, while gasoline and distillate stocks surprised with unexpected declines, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories fell 4.1 million barrels in the week to June 8, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels.

Refinery crude runs rose by 136,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 0.3 percentage points to 95.7 percent of total capacity.

Gasoline stocks fell 2.3 million barrels, compared with expectations in a Reuters poll for a 443,000-barrel gain. Demand was up by 0.3 percent over the past four weeks when compared with the year-ago period, the EIA said.

“You tend to want to see draws in gasoline early in the summer with driving season, and this is the first number that actually does that... in three weeks,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York.

U.S. crude and gasoline prices rose after the report. Crude futures were up 16 cents to $66.53 a barrel, gaining about 50 cents from before the report. Brent crude gained 43 cents to $76.30 a barrel.

Gasoline futures were up 1.1 percent to $2.1124 a gallon.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell 2.1 million barrels, versus expectations for a 200,000-barrel increase, the EIA data showed.

Crude production was up yet again, rising to a weekly record of 10.9 million bpd, not far behind top global producer Russia, which produced 11.1 million bpd overall in the first two weeks of June, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Weekly U.S. production figures are considered less reliable than monthly figures as they are subject to revision. In March, U.S. crude oil production hit a record of 10.5 million bpd.

Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 563,000 bpd.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub declined by 687,000 barrels, EIA said. (Reporting By David Gaffen Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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