KONTAN.CO.ID - NEW YORK. U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell sharply last week as refining rates hit their highest since March, while gasoline and distillate inventories rose, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories fell by 7.4 million barrels in the week to July 31 to 518.6 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3 million-barrel drop.
Refinery utilization rates rose 0.1 percentage point to 79.6% of total capacity, their highest level since late March as the U.S. economy slowly recovers from the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Refinery crude runs rose by 42,000 barrels per day, the EIA said.