By Dan Molinski


U.S. commercial inventories of crude oil rose more than expected last week and domestic oil production surged to its highest level in 34 months, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

Benchmark U.S. oil prices that were higher before the report was released reduced those gains afterward. The Nymex front-month crude contract for March delivery was recently up 0.4% at $77.36 a barrel.

Commercial crude-oil stockpiles increased by 2.4 million barrels to 455.1 million barrels, and remain 4% above the five-year average, the EIA said. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted crude stockpiles would rise by 1.8 million barrels from the prior week.

Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for U.S. stocks, increased by 1.1 million barrels from the previous week, to 39.1 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.

U.S. crude-oil production rose by 100,000 barrels a day from the previous week to 12.3 million barrels a day, the highest since April 10, 2020, according to the EIA.

Gasoline stockpiles climbed by 5 million barrels to 239.6 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations of a 1.4-million-barrel increase.

Distillate stocks, which are mostly diesel fuel, rose by 2.9 million barrels to 120.5 million barrels, and are now about 15% below the five-year average, the EIA said. Analysts had forecast distillates inventories would rise by just 200,000 barrels from the previous week.

The refining capacity utilization rate jumped by 2.2 percentage points from the previous week, to 87.9%. Analysts were forecasting a smaller, 0.5-percentage-point increase from the week prior.

U.S. oil inventories for the week ended Feb. 3: 
               Crude  Gasoline    Distillates  Refinery Use 
EIA data:       +2.4     +5.0         +2.9        +2.2 
Forecast:       +1.8     +1.4         +0.2        +0.5 

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

February 08, 2023 11:11 ET (16:11 GMT)

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