NEW YORK--U.S. crude stockpiles fell slightly more than expected in the week ended Aug. 1, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Crude-oil stockpiles fell by 1.8 million barrels to 365.6 million barrels, compared with an average survey estimate for stocks to fall by 1.7 million barrels on the week. It was the sixth weekly decline in a row, putting stockpiles at their lowest since Feb. 28.

Gasoline stockpiles unexpectedly fell by 4.4 million barrels to 213.8 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted a 100,000-barrel gain.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, fell by 1.8 million barrels to 124.9 million barrels, compared with analysts' forecast of an increase of 600,000 barrels.

Refining capacity utilization fell to 92.4% of capacity. Analysts had expected the operating rate to fall by half a percentage point in the week.

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.

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August 06, 2014 11:25 ET (15:25 GMT)

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