U.S. crude stocks rose last week even though refineries hiked output and imports fell, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Nov. 9.
Crude inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels (MMbbl) in the week to Nov. 4, far surpassing analysts' expectations for an increase of 1.3 MMbbl.
The price of oil slipped. U.S. benchmark crude fell 24 cents to $44.80/bbl, while Brent crude dipped 24 cents to $45.79. Markets had been volatile overnight after the unexpected victory of Republican nominee Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election.
"After the excitement of overnight markets, this morning's EIA report has been fairly pedestrian," said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at energy data provider ClipperData.
Refinery crude runs rose by 369,000 bbl/d, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 1.9 percentage points.
Gasoline stocks fell 2.8 MMbbl, surpassing expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1 MMbbl drop.
While the weekly crude build was much more than expected, the report was not as big a shock as the previous week's EIA numbers. Those showed U.S. crude oil stockpiles soared more than 14 MMbbl, the largest weekly build since the U.S. Energy Department started keeping records in 1982.
"This report is pretty much in line with what we are expecting for the next couple of weeks. The market is reacting correctly to it, which is looking past it," said Scott Shelton, energy specialist at ICAP in Durham, N.C.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.9 MMbbl, vs. expectations for a 2.1 MMbbl drop, the EIA data showed.
U.S. crude imports fell last week by 1.559 MMbbl/d.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., delivery hub rose by 28,000 bbl, EIA said.