MTECHTIPS:-U.S. crude stocks surge, gasoline draws down unexpectedly

MTECHTIPS-U.S. crude stockpiles surged last week, driven by a big rise in imports and inventory build at the key oil hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, while gasoline drew down unexpectedly, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Crude inventories were up 13.8 million barrels in the week to Feb. 3, compared with expectations for an increase of 2.5 million barrels. Crude imports jumped, rising 1.1 million barrels per day, with a big increase in imports at the Gulf Coast, where crude stocks rose by 10.9 million barrels, the largest weekly rise on record, to 267.6 million barrels. That figure is also a record. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. crude futures rose 1.1 million barrels, EIA said. Demand for the feed stock slipped as refinery crude runs fell 54,000 bpd and refining utilization rates edged down 0.5 percentage point to 87.7 percent of the nation’s total capacity. Gasoline stocks fell 869,000 barrels, versus analyst expectations for a 1.1 million-barrel gain, offsetting some of the bearish crude data. “It appears gasoline demand as measured for the week has rebounded to near-normal levels, which offsets some of the report’s other bearish elements,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
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