(Adds additional details, quotes, oil prices, updates
By David Gaffen
Feb 15 U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories
soared to record highs last week as refineries cut output and
gasoline demand softened, the Energy Information Administration
said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories rose 9.5 million barrels in
the week ended Feb. 10, nearly three times more than analysts'
expectations, boosting stocks - not including the U.S. Strategic
Petroleum Reserve - to an all-time record at 518 million
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S.
crude futures fell by 702,000 barrels and U.S.
crude imports by 1.34 million barrels per day, the
Benchmark U.S. crude futures initially weakened after
the data before rebounding, continuing a recent pattern where
initially bearish news results in a rally.
By 10:59 a.m. ET (1559 GMT), it was trading 19 cents firmer
at $53.39 a barrel. Brent crude was up 17 cents to
$56.14 a barrel.
"Although this is another bearish report, we're likely to
see buying interest this afternoon only to sell off later in the
week as has been the case for many weeks now," said Troy
Vincent, oil analyst at ClipperData in Louisville, Kentucky.
Gasoline stocks rose 2.8 million barrels,
compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a
752,000-barrel drop. That pushed inventories of the fuel to a
record at 259 million barrels.
Inventories of gasoline have surged by 10 percent since the
end of 2016, EIA data showed.
Overall demand for gasoline in the last four weeks was down
5.3 percent year-on-year at 8.43 million barrels per day (bpd).
Despite the bearish data, U.S. gasoline futures were
also firmer, rising 0.65 percent to $1.5569 a gallon.
Refinery crude runs fell 435,000 bpd as
utilization rates fell 2.3 percentage points to
85.4 percent of nationwide refining capacity, EIA data showed.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and
heating oil, fell 689,000 barrels, in line with forecasts, the
EIA data showed.
(Reporting By David Gaffen; additional reporting by Scott
DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy)