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U.S. Oil Inventories Post Big Build Amid Lower Refinery Runs

Commercial crude oil stockpiles, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve were about 3% below the five-year average for the time of year, the EIA said. Photo: Bing Guan/Bloomberg News
Commercial crude oil stockpiles rose by 7.3 million barrels last week; Analysts predicted a 1.5 million barrel decrease. Commercial crude oil stockpiles, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve were about 3% below the five-year average for the time of year, the EIA said. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg)

Anthony Harrups, WSJ

EnergiesNet.com 05 03 2024

U.S. crude oil stocks rose sharply last week as exports fell and refineries reduced their capacity use, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Commercial crude oil stocks excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve rose by 7.3 million barrels to 460.9 million barrels in the week ended April 26, and were about 3% below the five-year average for the time of year, the EIA said.

Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted a 1.5 million barrel decrease in crude inventories.

The SPR ended the week with 366.3 million barrels, up by 594,000 barrels, the EIA said.

Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the Nymex delivery hub, rose by 1.1 million barrels to 33.5 million barrels. Refinery capacity use was down by 1 percentage point at 87.5%, against expectations in the Journal survey of a half percentage-point increase.

Oil futures extended early losses. West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery was down 2.6% on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $79.80 a barrel. Front month Brent fell 2.5% to $84.21 on ICE Futures Europe.

The EIA estimated U.S. crude oil production at 13.1 million barrels a day, unchanged from the previous week. Crude imports increased by 274,000 barrels a day to 6.8 million barrels a day, and exports were down by 1.3 million barrels a day at 3.9 million barrels a day.

Gasoline inventories rose by 344,000 barrels to 227.1 million barrels, or 3% below the five-year average, with demand up by 195,000 barrels a day at 8.6 million barrels a day. Gasoline production also rose. Distillate fuel stocks fell by 732,000 barrels to 115.9 million barrels and were 7% below the five-year average.

Gasoline stocks were forecast to decline by 1.2 million barrels, and distillate stocks to rise by 400,000 barrels.

Write to Anthony Harrup at anthony.harrup@wsj.com

wsj.com 05 01 2024

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