U.S. crude stocks up 1.55M barrels last week, fuel balances drop - EIA

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U.S. crude stocks up 1.55M barrels last week, fuel balances drop - EIA
Credit: © Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com -- U.S. crude stockpiles resumed their climb last week after a one-week decline, while inventories of fuel products extended declines sharply, government data showed on Wednesday.

U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.55M barrels during the week ended March 10, the Energy Information Administration, or EIA, said in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report.

In the previous week to March 3, crude inventories fell 1.694M barrels after 10 straight weeks of builds that added some 60M to stockpiles amid seasonal maintenance and other disruptions at U.S. refineries that led to less processing of oil. An unseasonably warm winter had also created less need for heating oil.

Industry analysts tracked by Investing.com had forecast a build of 1.188M barrels for the week to March 10, putting what the EIA reported still above estimates.

Refineries operated at 88.2% of their operable capacity last week, the EIA said. Typically, inventory runs at this time of the year are about 90% or more.

Gasoline production decreased last week, averaging 9.1M barrels per day while distillate fuel output decreased last week, averaging 4.4M barrels per day, the EIA said.

On the gasoline inventory front, the EIA reported a draw of 2.061M barrels last week, versus the forecast decline of 1.820M and against the previous week's deficit of 1.134M. Automotive fuel gasoline is the No. 1 U.S. fuel product.

Distillate stockpiles also fell after rising for three previous weeks. Distillates are refined into heating oil , diesel for trucks, buses, trains, and ships, and fuel for jets, and are among the strongest demand components of the U.S. petroleum complex.

Distillate stockpiles fell by 2.573M versus the expected slide of 1.172M. In the previous week, distillates rose by 0.138M.

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