U.S. oil inventories jumped last week, marking a second consecutive spike as refineries continued to operate well below capacity in the aftermath of the February Arctic freeze that upended the Texas energy system.

Domestic commercial crude oil inventories for the week ended March 5 — excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — increased by 13.8 million bbl week/week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report (WPSR).

At 498.4 million bbl, the agency said, inventories were 6% above the five-year average for the comparable week.

A week earlier – the final full week of February – crude inventories swelled by 21.6 million bbl week/week, according to the WPSR.

EIA cited ongoing weak demand for travel fuels...