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U.S. crude oil inventories up above expectations last week

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Staff writer ▼ | February 3, 2016
U.S. crude oil inventories rose more than expected in the week ended January 29, official data revealed.
Oil rig worker
Energy sources   The Energy Information Administration:
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said commercial crude oil inventories increased 7.8m barrels to 502.7m barrels last week, compared to analysts' estimates for a rise of 4.0m barrels.

Crude oil refinery inputs in the U.S. averaged more than 15.6m barrels per day (bpd) during the period, 24,000 bpd less than the prior week's average.

Crude oil imports in the U.S. averaged about 8.3m bpd last week, up by 647,000 bpd from the previous week.

Worries about an oversupplied market have weighed on the sector. Oil prices have been falling as supply outweighs demand.

Brent crude rose 0.33% to $32.83 per barrel while West Texas Intermediate fell 0.33% to $29.78 per barrel at 1551 GMT, shortly after the EIA report was released.

Oil prices were sitting higher earlier in the session after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members agree to meet to discuss ways to address the supply glut "then we will meet".

The report from the EIA follows data from the American Petroleum Institute on late Tuesday which showed US crude stockpiles rose 3.8m barrels to 500.4m last week, less than gains in the previous week.