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U.S. crude stocks up 5.2M barrels last week - API -- U.S. crude stockpiles likely rose last week along with inventories of fuel, petroleum industry group API indicated in a report Wednesday that bucked expectations for falls in both as oil bulls bet on higher energy demand with the advent of summer road, air and seaborne travel.

The U.S. crude inventory balance rose by 5.202 million barrels during the week ended May 26, according to the API, or American Petroleum Institute. The petroleum industry group reported a crude draw of 6.799M barrels in the prior week to May 19.

Aside from the overall crude stockpile build, the API cited an inventory growth of 1.777M barrels specifically at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub that takes delivery of U.S. crude. In the prior week to May 19, it reported a Cushing build of 1.711M barrels.

On the fuel side, API reported a gasoline inventory build of 1.891M barrels and a distillate stock build of 1.849M barrels. In the previous week, it noted a 6.398M barrel drop for gasoline and 1.771M slide for distillates.

The API data serves as a precursor to official inventory data on the same due from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, on Thursday.

For last week, analysts tracked by expect the EIA to report a crude stockpile drop of 1.1M barrels, versus the 12.5M reduction reported during the week to May 19.

On the gasoline inventory front, the consensus is for a draw of 0.369M barrels over the 2.053M barrel decline in the previous week. Automotive fuel gasoline is the No. 1 U.S. fuel product.

With distillate stockpiles, the expectation is for a drop of 0.118M barrels versus the prior week’s deficit of 0.562M. Distillates are refined into heating oil, diesel for trucks, buses, trains and ships and fuel for jets.

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