U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week while fuel inventories grew by more than expected, with gasoline building to its highest level in nearly two years, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories rose by 1.3 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 5 to 432.4 million barrels, the EIA said, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 700,000-barrel drop.
The surprise build in crude stocks caused crude futures to turns negative after EIA released the inventory report. Earlier in the session both crude futures were up by more than $1 a barrel.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. crude futures fell by 506,000 barrels last week, EIA said.
Gasoline stocks rose by 8 million barrels in the week to 245 million barrels, the highest since February 2022, the EIA said, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 2.5 million-barrel rise.
Inventories of the motor fuel in the Midwest rose to 56.5 million barrels, the highest since April 2022, the EIA said.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 6.5 million barrels in the week to 132.4 million barrels, versus expectations for a 2.4 million-barrel rise, the EIA data showed.
Refinery crude runs fell by 161,000 barrels per day (bpd) and refinery utilization rates slipped 0.6 percentage point to 92.9% of total capacity.
Net U.S. crude imports rose by 1.32 million barrels per day, EIA said.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)