(Reuters) – U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose modestly, in line with expectations, while gasoline and distillate inventories dipped last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

    Crude inventories

rose by 501,000 barrels in the week to Oct. 2 to 492.9 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 294,000-barrel rise.
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Production was higher, rising to 11 million barrels per day from 10.7 million bpd in the previous week. That was a surprise to analysts, though that figure is likely to reverse in next week’s report as Hurricane Delta has already caused offshore facilities to shut.

“Domestic production was up 300k which was a bit bearish and may weigh on prices for a bit. Imports were up big 610k barrels and exports were down big. In my opinion those numbers are still being influenced by hurricane activity over the past couple of weeks,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.

    Net U.S. crude imports

rose by 1.5 million bpd as exports alone dropped 853,000 bpd.
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Fuel demand improved, the EIA said, with product supplied rising for both gasoline and distillates, which include diesel and heating oil. Over the last four weeks, product supplied, a proxy for demand, is still down 15% from the year-ago period as the United States remains burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Futures prices fell, sinking after U.S. President Donald Trump cut off talks for a new stimulus package on Tuesday. U.S. crude

was down 3% to $39.40 a barrel while Brent

dropped 2.6% to $41.54 a barrel.

    U.S. gasoline stocks

fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to 226.8 million barrels, their lowest since November of last year, compared with expectations for a 471,000-barrel drop.​
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    Distillate stockpiles

fell by 962,000 barrels, in line with expectations.
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American Airlines flight attendant Aaron Cuevas doesn’t know if he’ll have a job next week. He doesn’t even know if he should look for a new one or wait to find out how long unemployment might last.

Starting this week, American Airlines could begin furloughing 17,500 flight attendants, pilots, mechanics, ramp workers and other employees.

Across the airline industry, about 80,000 workers are holding notices telling them time is coming due for carriers to say goodbye if Congress doesn’t pass another payroll extension grant. Airline executives and union leaders say they are still hopeful to get a deal done by the end of September, but time is running out.

The changes are coming the fastest at Fort Worth-based American Airlines, which is staring at more debt and more overhead than its competitors.

What could happen after Thursday and in the weeks to come, will change flying for both passengers and employees.

“It stressful,” said Cuevas, who got a job with American four years ago after eight years in the U.S. Army. “Do you move forward with life?”

Thursday is the day when the restrictions end that came with the $25 billion in CARES Act funding from late March. That prohibited airlines from laying off or furloughing employees and cutting pay. American Airlines took $4.1 billion in grants and nearly $7.2 billion in loans. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines got $2.2 billion in grants and another $947 million in loans.

As those restrictions are about to lift, airlines are in worse condition than they thought they would be in spring or early in summer.

Congress is deadlocked on an extension amid a larger fight over a multitrillion-dollar stimulus package that includes funding for small businesses, unemployment aid and relief for cash-strapped states.

This week, joining American’s workers at risk are 13,000 employees of