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US crude stocks rise; gasoline stocks fall for first time since November: EIA

[NEW YORK] US crude stocks rose last week, while gasoline inventories fell for the first time since November and distillate stockpiles also dropped, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.

Crude inventories rose by 3.5 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.4 million barrels. On the Gulf Coast, crude stockpiles rose to the highest on record since at least 1990, following run cuts at refineries from Texas to Philadelphia in response to low margins.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 333,000 barrels, EIA said.

Refinery crude runs fell by 163,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates fell by 1 percentage points.

Gasoline stocks fell by 2.2 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.0 million barrels drop. The stockpiles declined for the first time since early November, after refiners pared back output. At the same time, gasoline stocks on the East Coast rose to a record.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.7 million barrels, versus expectations for a 711,000 barrels drop, the EIA data showed.

US crude imports fell last week by 117,000 barrels per day.