— U.S. crude stockpiles rose last week while fuel inventories were mixed, according to government data on Thursday that bucked expectations for falls in both as oil bulls bet on higher energy demand with the advent of summer travel.

The U.S. crude inventory balance rose by 4.489 million barrels during the week ended May 26, the Energy Information Administration, or EIA, said in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report. 

Analysts tracked by had forecast a crude draw of 1.101M for last week. In the prior week to May 19, the EIA reported a deficit of 12.456M barrels, the most in six months or the week ended November 25.

The EIA, meanwhile, reported a draw of 2.6M barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which the Biden administration has been tapping since late 2021 to ease crude supply tightness in the market.

On the fuel side, the EIA reported larger deficits as well in weekly stockpiles of gasoline and distillates.

On the gasoline inventory front, there was a draw of 0.207M barrels versus forecasts for a deficit of 0.369M and the previous weekly decline of 2.053M. Automotive fuel gasoline is the No. 1 U.S. fuel product.

With distillate stockpiles, the rise was 0.985M barrels, versus expectations for a draw of 0.118M and 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.