August 21, 2012 / 8:52 PM / 5 years ago

U.S. crude stocks sharply lower, products mixed -API

NEW YORK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - U.S. crude stocks fell more than expected last week led by a sharp drop in West Coast crude inventories as imports dipped, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.

Crude inventories fell by 6 million barrels in the week to Aug. 17, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 400,000-barrel drawdown.

Weekly imports fell by 1.2 million barrels-per-day (bpd) to 8.17 million bpd.

Distillate stocks also logged a surprise drawdown, falling by 1 million barrels in the latest week. Analysts had expected a 1 million-barrel build.

Gasoline stocks rose by 869,000 barrels, contrary to forecasts for a 700,000-barrel draw.

The fall in crude inventories came despite a drop in U.S. refinery run rates, which fell by 0.5 percentage point to 92.1 percent last week.

Oil stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the New York Mercantile Exchange’s U.S. oil futures contract, were off 5,000 barrels.

Crude stocks in the PADD 5 West Coast region fell by 2.26 million barrels. The second-largest draw was in the Midwest PADD 2 region where stocks fell by 1.94 million barrels.

U.S. crude futures rose in post-settlement trading, up 58 cents at $96.55 a barrel.

Reporting by Selam Gebrekidan; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer

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