US crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week, as imports jumped, while distillate inventories gained and gasoline drew down, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday, Report informs via AZERTAC.

Crude inventories rose by 4.5 million barrels in the week to May 26, the EIA said, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.4 million-barrel drop.

“It’s all about imports,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho. “Imports were up huge. That contributed basically to the big build.”

Net US crude imports rose by 1 million barrels per day (bpd), the EIA said.

Oil prices extended gains following the data. Brent crude futures and U.S. crude futures were last up over 2% to $74.18 and $69.91 a barrel, respectively.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 1.6 million barrels last week, the EIA said.

Refinery crude runs rose by 96,000 bpd, while refinery utilization rates rose by 1.4 percentage point in the week.

Gasoline stocks fell by 200,000 barrels in the week, the EIA said, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 500,000-barrel drop.

The four-week average for product supplied of gasoline – a proxy for demand – rose to the highest since December 2021, the data showed.