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US crude oil stocks surge 11 mln bbls, biggest rise since 2001

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US crude stocks surged by nearly 11 million barrels last week, the biggest gain in 14 years, as imports jumped, while gasoline stocks unexpectedly increased and distillate inventories dipped, data showed on Wednesday.

[NEW YORK] US crude stocks surged by nearly 11 million barrels last week, the biggest gain in 14 years, as imports jumped, while gasoline stocks unexpectedly increased and distillate inventories dipped, data showed on Wednesday.

Crude inventories rose by 10.9 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.4 million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 1.232 million barrels, which was also a bigger than expected build. US crude imports rose last week by 869,000 barrels per day.

US oil prices extended losses by as much as 25 cents following the data.

Refinery crude runs rose by 201,000 barrels per day to 15.9 million bpd, EIA data showed, remaining at record highs for this time of year. Refinery utilization rates rose by 0.7 percentage points.

Gasoline stocks rose by 817,000 barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.0 million barrels drop. While inventories are still above normal for this time of year due to unusually high refinery output, until this week stocks have been falling at their usual spring pace due to robust consumer demand, data show.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 250,000 barrels, versus expectations for a 829,000 barrels increase, the EIA data showed. Colder weather this winter has kept stocks below their seasonal highs.

REUTERS