Skip to main content

U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose and gasoline and distillate inventories fell more than forecast last week as refining slowed down for a third week in a row, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories rose by 2.7 million barrels to 460 million barrels in the week ending April 12, the EIA said, nearly double analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.4 million-barrel build.

Crude futures held steady after data, with Brent trading $1 lower on the day at $89.02 a barrel by 11:24 a.m. ET (1524 GMT) and U.S. crude were down 85 cents at $84.51.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 33,000 barrels in the week, the EIA said.

Refinery crude runs rose by 131,000 barrels per day (bpd) and refinery utilization rates slipped by 0.2 percentage point to 88.1 per cent of total capacity last week.

The refinery run rate saw a three-week decline during March and April for the first time since 2010, said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.

“Usually this time of year, you’re cranking up the run rate to make gasoline for everyone who is going to be driving,” he said.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.2 million barrels in the week to 227.4 million barrels, the EIA said, more than expectations for a 900,000-barrel draw.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2.8 million barrels to 115 million barrels, versus expectations for a 300,000-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.

Net U.S. crude imports fell by 1.99 million bpd to 1.74 million bpd as exports rose by 2.02 million bpd to 4.73 million bpd, the EIA said.

“Exports might have not rebounded as the EIA data suggests,” said Giovanni Staunovo, analyst at UBS.

Despite the boost in the data, most of the crude build was for a second consecutive week in the Gulf Coast export hub which rose by 3.4 million barrels to 260.9 million barrels, the most since April 2023, the EIA said. Meanwhile, U.S. imports from Mexico of crude oil fell to 208,000 bpd, the lowest on record for a second straight week.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe