By Anthony Harrup

U.S. crude oil inventories are expected to have declined for a third consecutive week as refineries raised their capacity use, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

Commercial crude stocks are forecast to have decreased by 2 million barrels to 455 million barrels in the week ended May 17, according to the average estimate of 10 analysts and traders. One analyst expects an increase and nine predict a decline. Expectations range from an increase of 1 million barrels to a drawdown of 4 million barrels.

Gasoline inventories are expected to be down by 1 million barrels at 226.8 million barrels, with estimates ranging from an increase of 1.1 million barrels to a drop of 3 million barrels.

Stocks of distillate fuels, mostly diesel, are forecast to remain unchanged at 116.4 million barrels. Estimates range from an increase of 1.8 million barrels to a decline of 2.2 million barrels.

Refinery capacity use likely rose by a half percentage point to 90.9%, with forecasts ranging from an increase of 0.2 percentage point to an increase of 1.1 percentage points. Two analysts didn't forecast refinery runs.

The inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is scheduled for release Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

                                   Crude   Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use 
   Again Capital                    -1.6     -1.9     -1.3       1.1 
   Commodity Research Group         -2.9     -1.4      0.3       0.2 
   Confluence Investment Management  1.0      1.0      0.5       0.5 
   DTN                              -2.2     -1.2      1.8       0.4 
   Excel Futures                    -3.1     -1.4     -0.5       0.4 
   Spartan Capital Securities       -2.8     -1.6      1.2       n/f 
   Mizuho                           -2.0     -1.0      0.5       0.5 
   Price Futures Group              -4.0     -3.0     -2.2       1.0 
   Ritterbusch and Associates       -1.5      1.1      0.6       0.2 
   Tradition Energy                 -1.1     -0.2     -0.8       n/f 
   AVERAGE                          -2.0     -1.0     unch       0.5 

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

n/f = no forecast

unch = unchanged

Write to Anthony Harrup at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-21-24 1110ET