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Feb. 24, 2021, 10:40 a.m. EST

Oil prices near session highs; EIA reports a weekly rise for U.S. crude supplies, but distillate stocks drop

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By Myra P. Saefong

The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories climbed by 1.3 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 19. That defied expectations for an average fall of 4.8 million barrels, according to a survey of analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a roughly 1 million-barrel increase, according to sources. The EIA data also showed crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub rose by 2.8 million barrels for the week. Meanwhile, the EIA said gasoline supply was "virtually unchanged," while distillate stockpiles were down 5 million barrels for the week. The S&P Global Platts survey had forecast supply declines of 2.8 million barrels for gasoline and 3.5 million barrels for distillate inventories. April West Texas Intermediate crude climbed to fresh intraday highs after the data, trading up $1.57, or 2.6%, at $63.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were at $62.73 before the supply data.

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