By Timothy Puko

U.S. crude-oil stocks are expected to show a decrease in data due Thursday from the U.S. Energy Department, according to a survey of analysts and traders by The Wall Street Journal.

Estimates from 12 analysts and traders surveyed showed that U.S. oil inventories are projected to have decreased by 2 million barrels, on average, in the week ended Dec. 30.

Ten analysts expect stockpiles to decline and two expect them to grow. Forecasts range from a decrease of 5 million barrels to an increase of 1.5 million barrels.

The closely watched survey from the Energy Information Administration is due at 11 a.m. EST Thursday.

Gasoline stockpiles are expected to show an increase of 1.3 million barrels on average, according to analysts. Nine expect them to rise and three expect them to fall. Estimates range from a fall of 2.5 million barrels to an increase of 5 million barrels.

Stocks of distillates, which include heating oil and diesel, are expected to grow by 500,000 barrels. Six analysts expect an increase and six expect a decrease. Forecasts range from a decline of 3 million barrels to an increase of 4.5 million barrels.

Refinery use is seen gaining 0.4 percentage point to 91.4% of capacity, based on EIA data. Seven analysts expect an increase, one expects a decrease, two expect no change and two did not report expectations. Forecasts range from a decrease of 0.5 percentage point to an increase of 1 point.

Crude Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use

Again Capital -1.1 0.8 -0.9 0.4

Citi Futures Perspective -3.52.5 3.1 1

Commodity Research Group -4.6 -0.8 -0.7 0

Confluence Investment Management -2 3 2 0.5

Energy Management Institute -2.6 2 2.3 0.9

Excel Futures 1.239 -1.627 -1.881 0.2

First Standard Financial -0.598 0.329 -1.456 N/A

Frost & Sullivan 1.5 1 -1 0.5

Ion Energy Group -2.5 4 2.5 N/A

Price Futures Group -2 -2.5 -3 0.5

Ritterbusch and Associates -5 5 4.5 0

Tradition Energy -3 1.5 1 -0.5

AVERAGE -2.0 1.3 0.5 0.4

High 1.5 5 4.51

Low -5 -2.5 -3 -0.5

(Figures in millions of barrels except for refining capacity, which is reported in percentage points. For analysts providing forecasts in a range, the average of the upper and lower ends of the range is used.)

Write to Timothy Puko at tim.puko@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 04, 2017 16:03 ET (21:03 GMT)

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