U.S. crude oil stockpiles jumped last week, while gasoline inventories posted a surprise draw as refineries picked up runs amid seasonally strong demand, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
The EIA resumed publishing weekly data after a two week hiatus to complete a planned systems upgrade.
Crude inventories rose by 3.6 million barrels in week to Nov. 10 to 421.9 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.8 million-barrel rise.
Refiners, who had been slow to emerge from fall maintenance, began ramping up slowly amid stronger demand for products.
Refinery crude runs rose by 164,000 barrels per day last week, while utilization rates rose by 0.9 percentage point to 86.1 per cent of total capacity.
Gasoline stocks fell by 1.5 million barrels in the week to 223.5 million barrels, the EIA said, a surprise draw that countered analysts’ expectations for a 600,000-barrel rise.
“To the extent that this gasoline demand persists, we would expect refiners to ramp up a bit,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to 111.3 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.2 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.
Oil futures pared some losses immediately after the data. U.S. crude futures last traded at $71.55 per barrel, while Brent crude futures traded around $82 a barrel.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 1.9 million barrels in the last week while U.S. crude imports fell by 385,000 bpd, EIA said.