U.S. Oil Supplies Fall as Refinery Activity Increases

By Dan MolinskiFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

U.S. inventories of crude oil declined much more than expected for the week ended Aug. 4 as refinery activity sped up, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

Crude-oil stockpiles fell by 6.5 million barrels to 475.4 million barrels, but remain in the upper half 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 2.7 million barrels on the week.

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Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for U.S. stocks, rose by 569,000 barrels to 56.4 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.

Gasoline stockpiles increased by 3.4 million barrels to 231.1 million barrels. Analysts were expecting gasoline inventories to decrease by 1.6 million barrels from the previous week.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, decreased by 1.7 million barrels to 147.7 million barrels, but are still in the upper half of the average range, the EIA said. Earlier in the week, analysts had forecast supplies would fall by 200,000 barrels from a week earlier.

Refining capacity utilization rose 0.9 percentage points from the previous week to 96.3%. Analysts were expecting the rate to decline by 0.3 percentage point.

U.S. oil inventories for week ended Aug. 4:

Crude Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use

EIA data: -6.5 +3.4 -1.7 +0.9

Forecast: -2.7 -1.6 -0.2 -0.3

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 09, 2017 11:06 ET (15:06 GMT)