The latest survey by The Wall Street Journal indicates that U.S. crude-oil inventories are likely to have decreased last week, while stocks of gasoline and distillate fuels are expected to have risen. The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release the inventory data at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

Crude Stockpiles

It is estimated that commercial crude stockpiles fell by 1.2 million barrels to 443.8 million barrels for the week ended December 8th. Out of the 10 analysts and traders surveyed, 8 predict a decrease in stocks, while 2 forecast an increase. Expectations range from a stock build of 2 million barrels to a draw of 3.3 million barrels.

This would mark the second consecutive weekly draw on crude stocks, as refineries continue to increase their capacity utilization rate. Refineries are projected to raise their utilization rate by 0.3 percentage points to reach 90.8%. Among the analysts, 6 expect an increase in capacity use, 2 expect a decline, and 2 did not make a forecast.

Gasoline Inventories

The survey suggests that gasoline inventories are expected to have increased by 1.9 million barrels to 225.5 million barrels. Estimates range from a build of 4.6 million barrels to a draw of 1.7 million barrels. Nine out of the ten respondents anticipate an increase in gasoline stocks, while one expects a fall.

Distillates

Stocks of distillates, mainly diesel fuel, are projected to rise by 400,000 barrels to 112.4 million barrels. Estimates range from a drawdown of 2.4 million barrels to an increase of 2.4 million.

Crude | Gasoline | Distillates | Refinery Use -1.6 | 1.8 | -2.4 | 0.7 -1.2 | 1.1 | 2.4 | 0.5 -1.5 | 3.0 | 1.0 | -0.5 -1.8 | 2.2 | 0.5 | 0.7 -3.3 | 4.6 | -1.4 | 0.6 -1.1 | -1.7 | -1.9 | n/f -3.0 | 2.0 | 1.0 | 0.5 2.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 | 0.5 2.0 | 1.5 | 1.0 | -0.5 -2.0 | 2.5 | 1.5 | n/f Average: -1.2 | 1.9 | 0.4 | 0.3

Note: Numbers in millions of barrels, with the exception of refinery use, which is in percentage points.

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