US crude stockpiles fall unexpectedly, sending crude prices up

[NEW YORK] US crude stocks fell unexpectedly last week, while gasoline stocks increased and distillate inventories fell, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.

The data surprise prompted crude futures for both US West Texas Intermediate and Global Brent to rise to a session high. US crude extended gains, spiking to US$37.58 and Brent rose to US$37.33 a barrel.

Crude inventories fell by 5.9 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 1.1 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 2 million barrels, EIA said.

Refinery crude runs fell by 143,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates fell by 0.6 percentage points.

Gasoline stocks rose by 1.1 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.4 million barrels gain.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 661,000 barrels, versus expectations for a 2.0 million barrels increase, the EIA data showed.

US crude imports fell last week by 1.041 million barrels per day.


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