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U.S. crude inventories seen down for fifth straight week


REUTERS ACTUAL FOR CHANGE VS YR-AGO

FORECAST FOR WEEK (EIA) PREVIOUS CHANGE WEEK

WEEK ENDED ENDED WEEK ENDED

12/28/18 12/21/18 12/29/17

CRUDE -3.1 MLN 441.4 MLN 0.0 MLN -7.4 MLN

DISTILLATE 1.6 MLN 119.9 MLN 0.0 MLN 8.9 MLN

GASOLINE 2.0 MLN 233.1 MLN 3.0 MLN 4.8 MLN

REFINERY RUNS 0.5 PCT PT 95.1 PCT 0.3 PCT PT 1.0 PCT PT

NATGAS STORAGE FORECAST -92 BCF TO -25 BCF (18 forecasts)

U.S. crude oil inventories were expected to have fallen last week for the fifth consecutive time, while analysts expected a build in refined products, an extended Reuters poll showed on Thursday.

Nine analysts polled by Reuters estimated, on average, that crude stocks fell 3.1 million barrels in the week to Dec. 28. The poll took place ahead of reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Crude inventories USOILC=ECI fell by 46,000 barrels in the week to Dec. 21, a much smaller draw than the decrease of 2.9 million barrels that analysts had expected. It was the fourth consecutive decrease.

Both the API and EIA reports for the latest week were delayed by two days due to the New Year’s holiday. The API data is now scheduled for release on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 4:30 p.m. EST (2130 GMT), while the EIA report is due on Friday, Jan. 4, at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT).

Analysts estimated that stockpiles of gasoline USOILG=ECI rose about 2.0 million barrels last week.

Distillate inventories USOILD=ECI, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, were seen up about 1.6 million barrels in the past week, the poll showed.

The rate of refinery utilization USOIRU=ECI was expected to rise 0.5 percentage point from a reading of 95.1 percent of total capacity in the week ended Dec. 21, according to the poll.

All figures for fuel stocks in millions of barrels; refinery runs change measured in percentage points:

Organization Crude Distillates Gasoline Refinery

Runs

Again Capital -3.4 1.2 2.7 1.1

Citi Futures -2.0 2.5 2.0 1.0

Confluence 2.0 3.0 3.0 -0.5

Commodity Research Group -4.2 -1.0 0.8 -0.4

EMI DTN -2.0 2.2 1.8 0.8

Price Futures Group -3.0 -3.0 -3.0 1.0

Refinitiv -3.2 N/A N/A N/A

Schneider Electric -3.8 1.9 1.5 0.2

Ritterbusch Associates -4.5 4.0 3.0 0.5

Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis



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