WASHINGTON (Xinhua) -- U.S. EIA crude inventories rose 4.766 million barrels in the week to March 25, more than expected, after rising 8.17 million barrels the week before, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Total U.S. EIA crude oil inventories are at a new high.
U.S. crude oil and refined oil inventories rose more than expected in the week of March 25, while auto growth was lower than expected, according to U.S. EIA crude oil inventory data. Of this total, crude oil inventories increased by 4.766 million barrels, which is expected to increase by 4.2 million barrels, from 8.17 million barrels the previous week. Gasoline inventories fell by 4.258 million barrels, but are expected to fall by 650,000 barrels, compared with a 2.014 million-barrel decline the previous week. Refined oil inventories increased by 1.325 million barrels, unchanged from the previous week's decline of 34,000 barrels.
U.S. equipment utilization rate for the week of March 18 was 89.4 percent, up from 89 percent the week before, suggesting refineries bought more crude oil. Refinery equipment utilization has continued to rise in recent weeks.
U.S. crude inventories have continued to climb in recent days, but there are limited places to store them. The market fears that when there is too much crude oil to store, it will trigger a collapse in oil prices. Zerohedge, a financial blog, even predicted that U.S. crude could be "nowhere to hide" as early as June.
WTI crude oil and cloth oil both rose about 2 percent after the release of EIA crude oil inventory data, which was largely in line with expectations. WTI crude rose to $48.6.