U.S. crude stockpiles fall as imports drop, refinery rates rise: EIA
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A pump jack is seen at sunrise near Bakersfield, California October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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By David Gaffen
(Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stocks fell last week after three straight weeks of builds as imports dropped and refineries hiked output, while gasoline inventories rose sharply amid weak demand, U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed on Wednesday.
Crude oil prices were relatively steady after the data, as the market continues to ready for next week's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
U.S. crude futures
U.S. crude imports
Refinery crude runs
Gasoline demand over the past four weeks was 9.2 mln bpd, only 0.6 percent higher from a year ago.
"A solid build to gasoline inventories comes amid higher gasoline production and lower implied demand on the week," said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData.
"On the whole, the report is a welcome distraction from OPEC talk, but fairly neutral on the whole."
(Reporting By David Gaffen; additional reporting by Ethan Lou in Toronto; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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