U.S. Oil Inventories Fall Sharply

By Dan Molinski Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. inventories of oil decreased much more than expected for the week ended Sept. 29, while gasoline supplies increased, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

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Crude-oil stockpiles slid by six million barrels to 465 million barrels, which is still 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 300,000 barrels on the week.

Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for U.S. stocks, rose by 1.5 million barrels to 62.5 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.

Gasoline stockpiles rose by 1.6 million barrels to 218.9 million barrels, while analysts in the survey were expecting it to rise by 1.2 million barrels.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, decreased by 2.6 million barrels to 135.4 million barrels, and remain in the lower half of the average range, the EIA said. Earlier in the week, analysts had forecast supplies would fall by 1.8 million barrels from a week earlier.

Refining capacity utilization unexpectedly fell by 0.5 percentage point from the previous week to 88.1%. Analysts were expecting the rate to rise by 1.1 percentage points.

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U.S. oil inventories for week ended Sept. 29:

Crude Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use

EIA data: -6.0 +1.6 -2.6 -0.5

Forecast: -0.3 +1.2 -1.8 +1.1

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 04, 2017 11:05 ET (15:05 GMT)