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Oil Rises as Record U.S. Refinery Runs Outweigh Stockpile Gain

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 1/11/2017 Mark Shenk
BC-OIL-MARKET© Ben Sharples and Perry Williams BC-OIL-MARKET

(Bloomberg) -- Oil increased after a government report showed U.S. refiners processed a record amount of crude last week.

Refineries nationwide used 17.1 million barrels a day of crude last week, according to the Energy Information Administration, the most in weekly data going back to 1989. Refineries operated at the highest utilization rate since September before they perform planned seasonal maintenance. Oil stockpiles rose 4.1 million barrels, more than the 1.5 million barrel increase forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

"Refineries are cranking out production to build fuel stockpiles before they go into maintenance," said Craig Bethune, a fund manager at Manulife Asset Management Ltd. in Toronto who focuses on energy and natural resources investments. "Seasonally, it’s not that unusual to see big inventory builds."

West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery rose $1.15 a barrel at 11:01 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent for March settlement rose $1.31 to $54.95 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Shenk in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net, Susan Warren, Jim Efstathiou Jr.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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