U.S. Oil Inventories Decline Less Than Expected

By Dan Molinski Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. crude-oil inventories decreased less than expected for the week ended April 28, while gasoline supplies rose moderately, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

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Crude-oil stockpiles declined by 930,000 barrels to 527.8 million barrels, and remain near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, the EIA said. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted crude supplies would fall by 1.8 million barrels on the week.

Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for U.S. stocks, decreased by 728,000 barrels to 66.7 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.

Gasoline stockpiles increased by 191,000 barrels, to 241.2 million barrels. Analysts were expecting gasoline inventories to rise by 700,000 barrels from the previous week.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, surprisingly decreased by 562,000 barrels to 150.4 million barrels, but remain in the upper half of the average range, the EIA said. Earlier in the week, analysts had forecast supplies would increase by 600,000 barrels from a week earlier.

Refining capacity utilization fell by 0.8 percentage points from the previous week to 93.3%. Analysts were expecting levels to fall by 0.4 percentage point from the previous week.

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U.S. oil inventories for week ended April 28:

Crude Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use

EIA data: -0.9 +0.2 -0.6 -0.8

Forecast: -1.8 +0.7 +0.6 -0.4

Write to Dan Molinski at dan.molinski@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 03, 2017 11:04 ET (15:04 GMT)