October 1, 2014 / 2:37 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. crude oil stocks fall even as refiners cut back

Oct 1 (Reuters) - U.S. crude stocks unexpectedly fell last week, while a sharp reduction in refinery runs also curbed gasoline and distillate inventories, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.

Crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 700,000 barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 315,000 barrels, EIA said.

The nationwide drop in stocks came despite refinery crude runs falling by 525,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Utilization rates dropped by 3.6 percent as many plants began shutting for seasonal maintenance. Crude imports also rose last week by 379,000 barrels per day.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 767,000 barrels drop.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2.9 million barrels, versus expectations for a 100,000 barrels drop, the EIA data showed. (Reporting by Jonathan Leff)

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