U.S. crude stockpiles rise as production hits record high

 U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose last week for the third consecutive week as production hit a record high, while distillate inventories, which include heating oil, fell for the eighth week in a row, the Energy Information Administration said.

Crude inventories rose by 2.2 million barrels in the week to Nov. 8, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.6 million-barrel rise.

“Further drawdowns in ... distillate fuels were supportive, but the rebound in refining utilization works against those data points,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

“Both imports and exports of crude oil were quite low on the week, but the rise in domestic production shows that there is no slowdown in the oil patch, despite the falling rig count.”

Crude production rose by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a weekly record of 12.8 million bpd, the data showed.

Commercial crude imports fell 327,000 bpd to about 5.8 million bpd, the lowest level since February 1996. Net U.S. crude imports fell by 589,000 bpd, EIA said.

Oil prices pared gains after the data was released. U.S. crude traded up 14 cents a barrel at $57.28 by 11:13 a.m. EST (1613 GMT). Brent crude traded up 34 cents a barrel at $62.72.

Stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. crude futures fell 1.2 million barrels, their first fall after five weeks of builds, the EIA said, after the main artery for Canadian crude imports, the Keystone pipeline, was forced to shut due to an oil spill.

Refinery crude runs rose by 155,000 bpd and utilization rates increased by 1.8 percentage points to 87.8% of total capacity, EIA data showed.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2.5 million barrels in the week, versus analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 950,000-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.

U.S. gasoline stocks rose after six weeks of drawdowns, building by 1.9 million barrels, the EIA said, compared with expectations for by 1.2 million-barrel drop. (Reporting By Jessica Resnick-Ault Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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