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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a major draw of 7.839 million barrels in United States crude oil inventories, compared to analyst expectations of a modest draw of 2.272 million barrels for the week ending August 4.
Gasoline inventories rose by 1.529 million barrels for the week ending August 4, compared to analyst expectations that inventories for the fuel would fall by 1.5 million barrels.
Crude prices fell on Tuesday despite Saudi Arabia’s promise to curb in September crude oil exports to its prime market—Asia. Oil markets were holding onto a small sliver of hope that the most recent OPEC meeting would result in additional cuts, but the meeting was destined to be only about compliance—or noncompliance as the case may be—matters. Last week, reports surfaced that OPEC’s crude oil exports rose 388,000 bpd in July, according to figures from energy data provider Kpler.
At 2:21pm, WTI had fallen 0.34% on the day to $49.22, with Brent Crude down 0.31% at $52.21. per barrel.
Gasoline was also trading down on the day before the data release, by 1.94% at $1.644.
Crude oil inventories in the US began its downward slide in early April, and have continued to fall, erasing all of the inventory that was built between January and April. According to the API, today’s build brings the total inventory for crude oil in 2017 to a net draw of 13.594 million barrels.
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Distillate inventories rose this week as well, by 157,000 barrels, while inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site increased by 319,000 million barrels.
By 4:38pm EST, WTI was trading at $49.17 with Brent Crude trading at $52.08.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on oil inventories is due on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for US-based Divergente LLC consulting firm, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.