U.S. crude stocks drop 4.6M bbls
U.S. crude stocks fell last week as refineries hiked output, while gasoline and distillate inventories rose, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday.
Crude inventories fell by 4.6 million barrels in the week to Dec. 22, compared with analysts' expectations for an decrease of 4.0 million barrels.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 1.6 million barrels, EIA said.
Refinery crude runs rose by 335,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 1.6 percentage points.
Gasoline stocks rose by 591,000 barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.3 million-barrel gain.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 1.1 million barrels, versus expectations for a 584,000-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.
Net U.S. crude imports rose last week by 807,000 barrels per day. (Reporting By David Gaffen)