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Industry mystery: U.S. crude stockpiles soar

Staff Writer |
U.S. crude oil stockpiles jumped unexpectedly last week despite record high refinery runs, while gasoline stocks decreased and distillate inventories grew, the Energy Information Administration said.

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"We've gotten hit by a wall of crude," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. "This is really unheard of to have refiners running at 98 percent at this time of year and have it not impacting the crude stockpiles."

Crude inventories rose 6.8 million barrels in the week to Aug. 10, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2.5 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. crude futures rose 1.64 million barrels, EIA said.

Net U.S. crude imports rose last week by 1.34 million barrels per day. Refinery crude runs rose by 383,000 bpd to 17.98 million bpd, the highest on record, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 1.5 percentage points to 98.1 percent, the highest since 1999.

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