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Oil Moves Higher As EIA Confirms Inventory Draws Across The Board

Crude oil prices went up today after the Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil inventory draw of 4.8 million barrels for the week to February 4.

A day earlier, the American Petroleum Institute surprised the market with an inventory draw, which pushed prices higher.

The draw estimated by the EIA compared with an inventory decline of 1 million barrels for the previous week. Inventories remain below the seasonal five-year average supporting higher oil prices.

In gasoline, the authority reported an inventory decline of 1.6 million barrels for the first week of February. This compared with a build of 2.1 million barrels for the previous week.

Gasoline production averaged 9.4 million bpd last week, which compared with 8.7 million bpd during the previous week.

In middle distillates, the authority reported an estimated inventory decline of 900,000 barrels for the week to February 4, which compared with a draw of 2.4 million barrels for the previous week.

Middle distillate production averaged 4.7 million barrels daily during the first week of February, compared with 4.6 million bpd for the previous week.

The EIA said in its recently released Short-Term Energy Outlook it expected crude oil production in the U.S. to reach 12 million bpd on average this year and rise further to 12.6 million bpd in 2023.

As for fuel prices, the agency said it expected a decline later this year in line with the expected decline in crude oil prices. Higher refinery throughputs would also contribute to more affordable fuels, the EIA noted.

Last week, refineries operated at 88.2 percent of capacity, processing an average of 15.6 million barrels of crude daily. This compared with 15.2 million bpd a week earlier. Imports stood at 6.4 million bpd in the first week of February, which compared with 7.1 million bpd a week earlier.

At the time of writing, Brent crude was trading at $91.23 per barrel, with West Texas Intermediate at $89.62 per barrel.

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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