EIA: U.S. crude stocks drop, fuel inventories up

U.S. crude oil stocks fell last week while gasoline and distillate inventories rose more than anticipated, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

Crude inventories fell 4.9 million barrels (MMBbl) in the week ended Jan. 5, compared with analysts' expectations for a drop of 3.9 MMBbl, Kallanish Energy learns.

The decline in crude stocks fell short of industry group the American Petroleum Institute, which reported an 11 MMBbl crude drawdown  on Tuesday.

In addition, refining runs fell, pulling back from a 12-year-high in capacity utilization, and stocks of gasoline and distillates such as diesel rose, Reuters reported.

However, U.S. production dropped sharply, though those figures are not considered as reliable as monthly data, which is released with a lag. U.S. production fell 290,000 barrels per day (BPD), to 9.5 MMBPD, EIA said.

"There must be a special factor at play, perhaps the extreme winter weather in North Dakota, which hampered shale oil production in the Bakken," Carsten Fritsch, oil analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, Germany, told Reuters.

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