U.S. crude oil stocks posted a much larger-than-anticipated fall last week on lower imports.
U.S. crude oil stocks posted a much larger-than-anticipated fall last week on lower imports and higher demand from refiners ahead of the Labor Day holiday, the Energy Information Administration said in data released Thursday. Commercial crude oil stocks in the United States fell 5.9 million barrels to 337.5 million barrels in the week to September 4, versus expectations of a 1.5 million barrel drop.
The latest EIA data supported a huge crude oil draw of 7.2 million barrels last week in the world's leading energy consumer, reported on Wednesday afternoon by industry group American Petroleum Institute.
Crude oil imports were off by 481,000 barrels per day at 9.1 million bpd, according to the EIA report, which like the API data was issued a day later than usual due to Monday's U.S. Labor Day holiday.
Crude runs, or petroleum demand by refiners, rose by 154,000 bpd on the week, EIA said, but refinery utilization was unchanged at 87.2 percent of capacity, higher than forecasts for a drop of 0.3 percentage point.
U.S. total product demand over the past 4 weeks was 19.50 million bpd, up 2.0 percent from a year ago. It was the second week in a row that demand was higher than last year's period.
However, U.S. gasoline stocks unexpectedly rose last week by 2.1 million barrels to 207.2 million barrels, EIA reported, compared with analysts' expectations of a 1.3 million barrel decline.
The data cover the period right ahead of the Sept 5-7 Labor Day holiday weekend, which traditionally marks the end of the summer driving season in the United States.
EIA said inventories of distillates, which include diesel and heating oil, rose 2 million barrels last week to 165.6 million barrels, more than double projections for an 800,000 barrel build.