NEW YORK--U.S. crude stockpiles fell more than expected in the week ended July 4, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Crude-oil stockpiles fell 2.4 million barrels to 382.6 million barrels, compared with an average survey estimate for stocks to fall by 2 million barrels on the week.

Gasoline stockpiles rose by 579,000 barrels to 214.3 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 300,000-barrel decline.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, grew by 227,000 barrels to 121.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' forecast of an increase of 1.3 million barrels. It was the sixth consecutive increase in stockpiles.

Refining capacity utilization rose to 91.6% of capacity, as expected. It was the highest rate since the week ended Jan. 3, when refineries were running at 92.3%.

Figures are in millions of barrels, except for refining use, which is reported in percentage points. Forecasts are the average of expectations in a Wall Street Journal survey of analysts earlier in the week.

Write to Mary de Wet at mary.dewet@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 09, 2014 11:05 ET (15:05 GMT)

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