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U.S. Crude Oil And Gasoline Inventories Drop Off

EIA Confirms Crude Build, Surprises with Products Draw

Crude oil prices moved slightly higher today, after the Energy Information Administration reported an inventory increase of 3.5 million barrels for the week to February 16.

This followed a sizeable build of 12 million barrels for a week that also saw gasoline and middle distillate fuel inventories decline.

For the week to February 16, the EIA also reported an estimated gasoline inventory draw of 300,000 barrels, which compared with a decline of 3.7 million barrels for the previous week.

Gasoline production averaged 9 million barrels daily last week, which compared with 9.2 million barrels daily for the previous week.

In middle distillates, the EIA estimated an inventory draw of 4 million barrels for the week to February 16, which compared with an inventory draw of 1.9 million barrels for the previous week.

Middle distillate production averaged 4.2 million barrels daily last week, which compared with 4.1 million barrels daily for the week before.

A week before the EIA released its weekly report, the American Petroleum Institute's inventory estimates for the week to February 16 showed a build of 7.2 million barrels in crude oil, plus a minor build in gasoline stocks, of less than 500,000 barrels and a sizeable draw in middle distillates, by close to 3 million barrels.

Oil prices, meanwhile, have been on the rise, mostly fueled by events in the Middle East, where the Israel-Hamas war shows no signs of progress toward peace. Despite the API's report on Wednesday, prices gained, to end the session higher, with West Texas Intermediate settling 1.1% higher and Brent booking a 0.8% gain for the day.

At the time of writing, the benchmarks were still trending higher, likely on indications of a tightening supply situation, as suggested by a Bloomberg report, citing timespreads on the oil market.

Worries about oil demand in the light of signals from the Fed that it will not rush with rate cuts countered the bullish effect of Middle East affairs and the perception of a tightening supply situation.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry. More