Oil prices extended losses on Wednesday on an unexpected increase in U.S. crude stocks that revived worries about the supply glut that has capped prices for the past two years.
U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 2.5 million barrels to a total of 523.6 million barrels in the week through Aug. 19 as refinery inputs decreased and gasoline production fell, according to the Energy Information Administration. Analysts had expected a 455,000-barrel fall.
U.S. crude oil imports averaged over 8.6 million barrels per day last week, up by 449,000 barrels per day from the previous week, according to EIA. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports averaged 8.5 million barrels per day, 13.3 percent above the same four-week period last year
Gasoline stocks were up by 36,000 barrels, compared with expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.2 million-barrel drop. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 122,000 barrels, versus expectations for a 400,000-barrel increase, the EIA data showed.