U.S. Inventories of Oil and Refined-Fuels Decline

U.S. inventories of crude oil and refined fuels declined across-the-board last week, according to data released Thursday by the Energy Information Administration.

Benchmark U.S. oil prices that were slightly higher before the report came out remained so afterward. The Nymex front- month crude contract for October delivery was recently up 0.4% at $69.55 a barrel.

Crude-oil stockpiles fell by 1.5 million barrels to 423.9 million barrels, and remain about 6% below the five-year average, the EIA said. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted crude stockpiles would fall by 2.5 million barrels from the prior week.

Oil stored at Cushing, the delivery point for U.S. stocks, rose by 1.9 million barrels from the previous week, to 36.4 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.

U.S. crude-oil production plunged by 1.5 million barrels a day last week to 10 million barrels a day, according to EIA, as Hurricane Ida shuttered offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gasoline stockpiles fell by 7.2 million barrels to 220 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for inventories to decrease by 2.9 million barrels from the previous week.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, fell by 3.1 million barrels to 133.6 million barrels and are now about 12% below the five-year average, the EIA said. Earlier in the week, analysts had forecast distillate supplies would fall 2.3 million barrels from the previous week.

The refining capacity utilization rate fell by a massive 9.4 percentage points from the previous week to 81.9% as Hurricane Ida-caused power outages forced Louisiana refineries to shut. The decline was more than analysts' forecasts for a 4.4 percentage-point decrease from the previous week.

U.S. oil inventories for the week ended Sep. 3:

            Crude  Gasoline  Distillates  Refinery Use
EIA data:   -1.5   -7.2      -3.1         -9.4
Forecast:   -2.5   -2.9      -2.3         -4.4

Note: Numbers in millions of barrels, with the exception of refinery use, which is in percentage points.

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

  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  09-09-21 1131ET
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