(Updates with detail on decline and crude price reaction)
NEW YORK, July 12 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil inventories last week dropped the most in ten months, falling more than expected as imports declined and refining rates rose, while gasoline stocks decreased and distillate inventories rose, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories fell 7.6 million barrels in the week to July 7, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2.9 million barrels.
The decline was the biggest since the week ended Sept. 4.
The largest crude draw was in the Gulf Coast region, where crude stockpiles fell 6.1 million barrels, the most weekly draw since May.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. crude futures fell by 1.9 million barrels to 57.6 million barrels, the lowest level since November 2015, EIA said.
U.S. inventories have been closely watched amid market concerns that U.S. output from shale formations could offset OPEC's efforts to throttle back production and curb a global supply glut.
U.S. crude briefly rallied to a session high of $46.48 a barrel after the data was released before paring gains. U.S. crude was trading up 62 cents to $45.66 by 10:44 a.m. EST (1544 GMT). Global benchmark Brent crude traded up 26 cents a barrel at $47.79.
Refinery crude runs rose by 103,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 0.9 percentage points.
Gasoline stocks fell 1.6 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.1 million-barrel gain.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose 3.1 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.1 million-barrel increase, the EIA data showed.
U.S. crude imports fell last week by 282,000 bpd.
U.S. crude exports rose in the week to 918,000 bpd from 768,000 bpd the previous week. (Reporting By Jessica Resnick-Ault; Editing by Marguerita Choy)