By Dan Molinski

U.S. crude oil inventories rose much more than expected for the week ended Jan. 6, as did stockpiles of gasoline and other processed fuels, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

Crude-oil stockpiles increased by 4.1 million barrels, to 483.1 million barrels, which is at the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, the EIA said. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted crude supplies would rise by 700,000 barrels on the week.

Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for U.S. stocks, decreased by 579,000 barrels, to 66.9 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.

Gasoline stockpiles increased by 5 million barrels, to 240.5 million barrels. Analysts were expecting gasoline inventories to rise by 1.6 million barrels from the previous week.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, surged by 8.4 million barrels, to 170 million barrels, and are above the upper limit of the average range, the EIA said. Analysts were forecasting supplies to increase by just 500,000 barrels from a week earlier.

Refining capacity utilization rose by 1.6 percentage points from the previous week, to 93.6%. Analysts were expecting utilization levels to decline by 0.1 percentage point.

U.S. oil inventories for week ended Jan. 6:

Crude Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use

EIA data: +4.1 +5.0 +8.4 +1.6

Forecast: +0.7 +1.6 +0.5 -0.1

Write to Dan Molinski at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 11, 2017 11:07 ET (16:07 GMT)

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