Crude oil prices climbed today, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported another weekly build in crude oil inventories of 1.1 million barrels.
That compared with a build of 1.6 million barrels for the previous week.
The authority also reported major draws in fuel inventories for the week to March 17, with both gasoline and distillate fuel stocks down.
U.S. crude oil stocks stood at 481.2 million barrels at the end of last week, which was about 8 percent above the five-year average for this time of the year.
A day earlier, the American Petroleum Institute had estimated crude oil inventories had added some 3.3 million barrels in the week to March 17, which added to the pressure on prices.
In gasoline, the EIA reported an inventory decline of 6.4 million barrels for the week to March 17, which compared with a draw of 2.1 million barrels for the previous week.
Gasoline production averaged 9.5 million barrels daily in the reporting period, which compared with 9.1 million bpd a week earlier.
In middle distillates, the EIA estimated an inventory draw of 3.3 million barrels for the week to March 17, which compared with a draw of 2.5 million barrels for the previous week.
Middle distillate production averaged 4.5 million barrels daily last week, which compared with 4.4 million bpd for the previous week.
Oil prices declined on Tuesday following the API’s release of its inventory report and they extended their losses into Wednesday as the market awaited an update from the Fed on interest rates and other monetary policy after its regularly scheduled two-day meeting.
The decline followed an earlier reversal of oil’s fortunes with modest gains for benchmarks that followed subsiding fears about the global banking system in the wake of two bank collapses in the United States and the narrow escape of Credit Suisse, which peer UBS agreed to take over with the financial support of the Swiss government.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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