By Dan Molinski

U.S. crude oil inventories rose by more than double what analysts expected for the week ended Jan. 27, while gasoline stockpiles also increased sharply, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

Crude-oil stockpiles rose by 6.5 million barrels to 494.8 million barrels, which is near 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 2.9 million barrels on the week.

Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for U.S. stocks, decreased by 1.2 million barrels to 64.1 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.

Gasoline stockpiles increased by 3.9 million barrels to 257.1 million barrels. Analystswere expecting gasoline inventories to rise by just 1.3 million barrels from the previous week.

Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, unexpectedly rose by 1.6 million barrels to 170.7 million barrels, and are well above the upper limit of the average range, the EIA said. Analysts were forecasting supplies to decrease by 600,000 barrels from a week earlier.

Refining capacity utilization slipped by 0.1 percentage point from the previous week to 88.2%. Analysts were expecting utilization levels to decline by 0.3 percentage point.

U.S. oil inventories for week ended Jan. 27:

Crude Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use

EIA data: +6.5 +3.9 +1.6 -0.1

Forecast: +2.9 +1.3 -0.6 -0.3

Write to Dan Molinski at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 01, 2017 11:05 ET (16:05 GMT)

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