By Anthony Harrup

U.S. crude oil inventories are expected to have decreased last week, with refineries raising capacity use for a fourth straight week, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

Commercial crude stocks are seen down by 1.4 million barrels to 457.4 million barrels for the week ended May 24, according to the average estimate of eight analysts and traders. Seven expect a draw on stocks and one predicts a build. Expectations range from a draw of 3 million barrels to a build of 1.5 million barrels.

Gasoline inventories are forecast to be 1 million barrels lower at 225.8 million barrels, according to the survey, with estimates ranging from a 2.3 million-barrel drawdown to a 1.1 million-barrel increase.

Stocks of distillate fuels, most diesel, are projected to have slipped by 100,000 barrels to 116.6 million barrels. Estimates range from a draw of 2 million barrels to a stock increase of 1.2 million barrels.

U.S. refineries likely operated at 92.2% of capacity, up by a half percentage point from the previous week. Estimates range from an increase of 0.2 percentage point to an increase of 1 percentage point. Two analysts didn't forecast refinery runs.

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

                                   Crude   Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use 
   Again Capital                    -1.8     -2.3     -1.4       0.6 
   Commodity Research Group         -3.0     -1.0      0.9       0.2 
   Confluence Investment Management -0.5      1.0      0.5       0.2 
   Spartan Capital Securities       -1.4     -2.1      1.2       n/f 
   Mizuho                            1.5     -1.0     -0.5       0.5 
   Price Futures Group              -2.0     -2.0     -2.0       1.0 
   Ritterbusch and Associates       -1.9      1.1      0.4       0.2 
   Tradition Energy                 -2.0     -1.5     -0.1       n/f 
   AVERAGE                          -1.4     -1.0     -0.1       0.5 

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

05-29-24 1325ET