Big oil inventories build and gasoline draw after Harvey

Big oil inventories build and gasoline draw after Harvey

Big oil inventories build and gasoline draw after Harvey

Total U.S. stocks stood at 468.2 million barrels.

USA refinery utilization rates fell to 77.7 percent last week, the lowest since 2008, according to EIA.

Nevertheless, the IEA said it was cautious about the extent of any post-recovery rally, saying that "expectations are that markets are tightening and that prices will rise, albeit very modestly".

Unprecedented flooding from the Category 4 storm that slammed into the state's coast last week, sending gasoline prices surging as oil refineries shut, may also set a record for rainfall in the contiguous USA, the weather service said Tuesday.

The International Energy Agency in its latest monthly market report said overall production levels from major producers was on the decline and the level of stocks for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was only slightly above the five-year average. USA benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded 0.85 per cent up at $48.64 per barrel.

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Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB, said the IEA had not extended its forecast for strong demand growth to 2018.

EIA also revised its 2017 and 2018 USA oil output forecast figures lower to reflect, in part, effects of Hurricane Harvey.

US crude stocks rose sharply last week as refinery output declined further in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, causing gasoline stocks and distillate inventories to drop as well, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Global oil supplies have hit a snag in recent weeks as Hurricane Harvey limited output in the USA and declining activity in the Middle East helped the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries keep to its previous deal to limit production.

EIA inventory data is due later on Wednesday.

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