By Dan Molinski


U.S. commercial inventories of crude oil fell sharply last week as refinery activity quickly sped up and strategic reserves sales slowed down, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

Benchmark U.S. oil prices that were sharply higher before the mixed-to-bullish report was released remained higher afterward. The Nymex front-month crude contract for January delivery was recently up 2.8%, at $80.39 a barrel.

Commercial crude-oil stockpiles dropped by 12.6 million barrels, to 419.1 million barrels, and are now about 8% below the five-year average, the EIA said. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted crude stockpiles would fall by 2.1 million barrels from the prior week.

Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for U.S. stocks, decreased by 415,000 barrels from the previous week, to 24.3 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.

U.S. crude-oil production was unchanged from the previous week, at 12.1 million barrels a day, according to the EIA.

Gasoline stockpiles jumped by 2.8 million barrels, to 213.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations of a 500,000 barrel increase.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, rose by 3.5 million barrels, to 112.6 million barrels, and are now 11% below the five-year average, the EIA said. Analysts had forecast distillates inventories would rise by 200,000 barrels from the previous week.

The refining capacity utilization rate jumped by 1.3 percentage points from the previous week, to 95.2%. Analysts were forecasting a 0.1 percentage-point increase from the week prior.

U.S. oil inventories for the week ended Nov. 25: 
             Crude  Gasoline  Distillates  Refinery Use 
EIA data:     -12.6     +2.8         +3.5          +1.3 
Forecast:      -2.1     +0.5         +0.2          +0.1 
Note: Numbers in millions of barrels, with the exception of refinery use, which is in percentage points. 

Write to Dan Molinski at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 30, 2022 11:02 ET (16:02 GMT)

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