Crude inventories rose by 5.9 million barrels in the week to September 8, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.2 million barrels.
That was largely tied to solid gains in crude oil, sparked by signs of reduced global production. "The focus now shifts to the post-Harvey scenario", he said.
However, crude stockpiles in the USA have ballooned recently as Harvey crippled refinery production in the Texas and Louisiana region. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded 0.85 per cent up at $48.64 per barrel.More news: DHS Orders Feds to Dump Software From Russia-Linked Kaspersky Lab
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"The market seems to be recognizing that this is a hurricane-altered report, and is waiting to see once we get through this hurricane period", said Gene McGillian, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. But the EIA also reported that total domestic crude output rose by 572,000 barrels a day to 9.35 million barrels.
USA refinery utilization rates fell to 77.7 percent last week, the lowest since 2008, according to EIA.
World oil demand growth in 2017 is expected to rise by 1.42 million barrels per day (mbpd) after an upward revision of around 50,000 barrels per day (tbpd), according to Opec Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR). Based on the current global oil supply/demand balance, it said, Opec crude in 2017 is estimated at 32.7 mpbd, around 0.5 mpbd higher than in 2016.
Meanwhile, gasoline stockpiles fell by 8.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for a 2.1-million-barrel drop.