U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell last week, breaking a 10-week streak of builds, while distillate inventories rose to the highest level in over a year, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories fell by 1.7 million barrels to 478.5 million barrels in the week ending March 3, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 0.4 million-barrel rise.
U.S. weekly unaccounted for crude oil adjustments swung by the second most on record last week, according to the EIA, which has distorted some of the data.
Crude oil blending and under-reported oil output were key reasons for recently high adjustment figures in the weekly oil inventory data, the EIA said last week.
“This adjustment number is, for lack of a better word, is a freak show. That is basically why you’re getting a draw,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.
U.S. gasoline stocks fell by 1.1 million barrels in the week to 238.1 million barrels, and U.S. gasoline demand over the past four weeks fell 0.2 per cent from a year ago, EIA said, while total product demand in the period fell 8.4 per cent.
“Gasoline demand is going back down again to depressed levels,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 0.1 million barrels in the week to 122.3 million barrels, the highest since January 2022, the EIA data showed. Distillate demand is off 14.6 per cent from a year ago, according to the agency.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub fell by 890,000 barrels in the last week, EIA said.
Refinery crude runs fell by 12,000 barrels per day in the last week, EIA said.
Refinery utilization rates rose by 0.2 percentage points in the week.
Net U.S. crude imports rose by 2.33 million barrels per day, EIA said.