NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil and refined product stockpiles fell unexpectedly last week as crude imports plunged, government data showed on Wednesday.
Domestic stocks of crude fell by 2.45 million barrels to 365.18 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a stock increase of 900,000 barrels.
U.S. imports of crude dropped by 2.25 million barrels per day from the previous week, to 7.55 million barrels per day.
Refinery utilization fell by 1.5 percentage points to 87.4 percent of capacity. Analysts had forecast a rise in plant utilization of 0.3 percentage point.
U.S. gasoline inventories fell by 481,000 barrels to 195.83 million barrels. Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected an increase of 200,000 barrels.
U.S. distillate stocks, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 482,000 barrels to 127.75 million barrels, compared with analysts' average forecast for an increase of 800,000 barrels.
U.S. crude futures extended losses within minutes after the EIA data was released. By 10:37 a.m. EDT (1437 GMT), they were trading down $2.00 at $89.37 per barrel.
Crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, fell by 83,000 barrels to 43.73 million barrels.
(Reporting by Joshua Schneyer; Editing by Dale Hudson)
(email@example.com; 646 223 6052; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org)