Crude oil prices fell slightly after the Energy Information Administration reported an estimated draw of 600,000 barrels in U.S. oil inventories for the week to July 21.
This compared with a modest inventory decline of 700,000 barrels for the previous week that kept inventories slightly above the five-year seasonal average.
In fuels, the Energy Information Administration also reported small inventory draws.
Gasoline stocks shed 800,000 barrels in the week to July 21, which compared with an inventory draw of 1.1 million barrels for the previous week.
Gasoline production averaged 9.5 million barrels daily last week, a small decline on a week earlier.
In middle distillates, the authority estimated an inventory draw of 200,000 barrels, which compared with a slight increase for the previous week, too small for the EIA to put a number on.
Middle distillate production averaged 4.8 million barrels daily last week, which compared with 5 million barrels daily during the previous week.
Earlier this week, the American Petroleum Institute reported an estimated build in crude oil inventories, surprising observers, who had called a draw.
Oil prices, however, remained relatively strong, stimulated by tighter supply and measures taken by Beijing to strengthen economic growth in China.
After months of traders watching economic indicators and bracing up for a global recession, now concern is trickling in about the security of sufficient oil supply, analysts note.
"The market is getting more concerned about the trend of tightening oil supplies, and it's becoming more obvious to the naysayers that the expected drop-off in demand isn't happening," Phil Flynn from Price Futures Group told Reuters earlier in the week.
“Tighter fundamentals are driving the uptick, but market concerns over demand remain, with China the persistent focus of attention,” Eurasia Group managing director for energy, Raad Alkadiri, told Bloomberg.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
- Saudi Arabia’s Oil Revenues Slump To The Lowest Level Since 2021
- Bullish Sentiment Slowly Builds In Oil Markets
- U.S. and Qatar At The Forefront Of Global LNG Supply Growth