UPDATE 1-U.S. crude stocks rise as production climbs to highest since April 2020
(Adds details on production, comments)
By Arathy Somasekhar
HOUSTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stocks rose last week to their highest level since June 2021, helped by higher production, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 3 to 455.1 million barrels, close to the 2.5 million-barrel rise that analysts expected in a Reuters poll.
U.S. oil production rose 100,000 barrels to touch 12.3 million, its highest since April 2020.
Canadian crude imports also continued to climb as the Keystone oil pipeline returned to service after being shut temporarily due to a leak in December, Kpler analyst Matt Smith said.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 1 million barrels in the last week while net U.S. crude imports rose by 367,000 barrels per day, the EIA said.
U.S. crude futures dipped briefly on the data, but recovered some of the losses to trade 1% higher at $77.97.
U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories also rose last week as demand remained weak.
U.S. gasoline stocks rose by 5 million barrels to 239.6 million barrels, the EIA said, far surpassing the 1.3 million barrel rise that analysts expected in a Reuters.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 2.9 million barrels in the week to 120.5 million barrels, its highest in a year, EIA data showed. Analysts had expected a 0.1 million-barrel rise.
"It all adds up to a very bearish picture," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York, adding that the distillate increase pointed to some concerns over the economy and truck traffic demand.
Refinery crude runs rose by 449,000 barrels per day in the last week, EIA said, while refinery utilization rates rose by 2.2 percentage points to 87.9% in the week.
"The jump in refining activity has yielded higher product inventories, with implied demand for gasoline and distillates pretty much level-pegging on the prior week," Kpler's Smith said. (Reporting by Arathy Somasekhar in Houston; Editing by David Gregorio)