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US crude stocks surge for third week, hitting record high

[NEW YORK] US crude stocks surged to their highest on record last week, a third consecutive jump as a global crude glut fills up storage tanks, while gasoline and distillate inventories fell, US data showed on Wednesday.

Crude inventories rose by 8.9 million barrels in the last week, according to the Energy Information Administration, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 4.1 million barrels. The bulk of the rise, 5.5 million barrels, occurred in the Gulf Coast PADD 3 region.

The build was somewhat less than reported late on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institue. But it follows two previous weeks of strong increases. US crude oil prices were little changed shortly after the data.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 2.085 million barrels, EIA said.

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The rise in crude stocks came despite a big jump in refinery runs by 347,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 2.5 percentage points.

Gasoline stocks fell by 2.6 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 320,000 barrels gain.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 3.9 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.7 million barrels drop, the EIA data showed.

US crude imports rose last week by 90,000 barrels per day.