US crude stockpiles rise as output, refining hits pre-pandemic rates: EIA

Houston, Sept. 13 (BNA): U.S. crude oil stockpiles last week built for the first time in a month due to higher imports and as production recovered to pre-pandemic levels, while fuel inventories jumped as refineries boosted runs to their highest since early 2020, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories rose by 4 million barrels in the week to Sept. 8 to 420.6 million barrels, more than double analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.9 million-barrel drop.

According to Reuters, crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell 2.4 million barrels to just below 25 million, their lowest since December, while inventories at the refining and import hub on the Gulf Coast rose by 7.3 million barrels.

“U.S crude inventories have yielded a solid build despite refining activity increasing and Cushing inventories dropping to their lowest level this year, due to much higher net imports,” Kpler analyst Matt Smith said.

Net U.S. crude imports rose by 2.7 million barrels per day to 4.5 million bpd, their highest rate since January 2022, as imports alone climbed to 7.6 million bpd, their highest since August 2019.

Crude production rose 100,000 bpd to 12.9 million bpd, a peak not seen since March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic crushed demand and production.

Oil prices dipped briefly after the data but recovered later with Brent crude futures trading 36 cents, or 0.4%, higher at $92.42 a barrel by 10:49 a.m. ET (1449 GMT), while U.S. crude rose 41 cents, or 0.5%, to $89.26.

Refinery crude runs rose 177,000 bpd last week to 16.8 million, their highest since January 2022, while refinery utilization

rates rose by 0.6 percentage points to 93.7% of total capacity.

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The increase in refining activity and lower implied demand led to a build in gasoline and distillates stocks, Smith added.

Gasoline stocks rose 5.6 million barrels – the most since July 2022 – to 220.3 million barrels, the EIA said, far exceeding expectations for a 200,000-barrel build. ​

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 3.9 million barrels to 122.5 million barrels, triple the forecast for a 1.3 million-barrel build.


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