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US crude oil inventories rise as refiners pare record runs: EIA

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US crude stocks rose nearly twice as much as expected last week as refineries cut output from a seasonal record, while gasoline stocks unexpectedly fell and distillate inventories rose, data showed on Wednesday.

[NEW YORK] US crude stocks rose nearly twice as much as expected last week as refineries cut output from a seasonal record, while gasoline stocks unexpectedly fell and distillate inventories rose, data showed on Wednesday.

Crude inventories rose by 5.3 million barrels in the last week, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.9 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 738,000 barrels, EIA said. That's the second-smallest build in Cushing this year. US oil prices CLc1 rallied after the data, turning positive on the day.

Refinery crude runs fell by 230,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed, ending a period of unusually early and rapid gains that had pushed runs to a seasonal record high. At 15.98 million bpd, refinery runs are now level with a year ago. Utilization rates fell by 1.1 percentage points.

Gasoline stocks fell by 2.1 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 700,000 barrels drop.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 395,000 barrels, versus expectations for a 1.2 million barrels increase, the EIA data showed.

US crude imports rose last week by 617,000 barrels per day.

REUTERS