U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories rose last week as production rebounded as more offshore oil facilities returned from last month’s storm-related shut-ins, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories rose by 2.3 million barrels in the week to Oct. 1 to 420.9 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 418,000-barrel drop.
Output was also higher, rising 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 11.3 million bpd in the most recent week. That is not far from pandemic-era highs for U.S. crude production, even though weekly figures are considered less reliable than lagging monthly data.
In addition, product supplied by refineries, a proxy for fuel demand, was 20.7 million bpd over the past four weeks, roughly in line with pre-pandemic levels of demand.
Refinery crude runs rose by 329,000 bpd last week, and utilization rates rose by 1.5 percentage points to 89.6 per cent of total capacity, the EIA said.
“A lot of the crude build seems to have gone to increased inputs into refineries,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.
U.S. gasoline stocks rose by 3.3 million barrels in the week to 225.1 million barrels, the EIA said, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 279,000-barrel drop. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 396,000 barrels in the week to 129.3 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.
Net U.S. crude imports rose by 1.4 million bpd to 4.9 million bpd, their highest since July 2020, according to EIA data.
Crude prices dropped on the data after earlier hitting a multiyear highs. Global benchmark Brent hit $83.47 a barrel, highest since October 2018, but at 10:52 a.m. ET (1452 GMT) was down $1.43, or 1.8 per cent, to $81.13. U.S. crude climbed to $79.78, its highest since November 2014, before retreating to to $77.55 with a $1.38 or 1.8 per cent loss on the day.
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