By Anthony Harrup

U.S. crude-oil inventories are expected to have increased last week in a fourth consecutive build, while stocks of gasoline and distillate fuels likely posted withdrawals, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

Commercial crude stockpiles are seen rising by 3.2 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 16 to 442.7 million barrels, according to the average estimate of 10 analysts and traders. Nine expect an increase and one predicts a decline. Expectations range from a withdrawal of 2.5 million barrels to a build of 5.9 million barrels.

Gasoline inventories are projected to have fallen by 2.1 million barrels to 245.2 million barrels, with estimates in the survey ranging from a decrease of 4.5 million barrels to an increase of 3.8 million barrels.

A reduction of 1.4 million barrels to 124.3 million barrels is forecast for stocks of distillates, mostly diesel fuel. Estimates range from a decrease of 3.6 million barrels to a build of 3.2 million barrels.

Refinery capacity use likely rose by 0.8 percentage point to 81.4%, according to the survey. Estimates range from an increase of 3.4 percentage points to a decrease of 0.6 percentage point. Two analysts didn't make a forecast.

The inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is scheduled for release at 11 a.m. ET Thursday.

                                   Crude   Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use 
   Again Capital                     2.3     -1.7     -1.4       0.8 
   Commodity Research Group          3.5     -2.2     -2.6       0.5 
   Confluence Investment Management  5.5     -4.5     -3.0       2.5 
   DTN                               3.2     -2.1     -1.5      -0.3 
   Excel Futures                     5.9     -3.9     -2.2      -0.6 
   Spartan Capital Securities        1.1     -2.7     -3.6       n/f 
   Mizuho                            4.0     -2.0     -2.0      -0.6 
   Price Futures Group               3.0     -3.0      2.0       0.5 
   Ritterbusch and Associates       -2.5      3.8      3.2       3.4 
   Tradition Energy                  5.5     -3.1     -3.0       n/f 
   AVERAGE                           3.2     -2.1     -1.4       0.8 

Note: Numbers in millions of barrels, with the exception of refinery use, which is in percentage points.

n/f = no forecast

unch = unchanged

Write to Anthony Harrup at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-21-24 1230ET