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Oil Moves Higher On Largest Crude Draw Since January

Oil prices moved higher after the Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil inventory draw of 8 million barrels for the week to April 30.

In fuels, the inventory moves were mixed.

The oil inventory figure compared with a weekly draw of 7.688 million barrels estimated by the American Petroleum Institute a day earlier, and with a moderate build of 100,000 barrels that the EIA reported for the previous week.

Analysts had expected the EIA to report a crude oil inventory decline of 2.19 million barrels for the period.

In gasoline, the authority estimated a minor stock build of 700,000 barrels for the last week of April. This compared with another modest build of 100,000 barrels for the previous week. Production last week averaged 9.1 million bpd, which compared with 9.6 million bpd during the previous week.

In middle distillates, EIA reported an inventory decline of 2.9 million barrels for the week to April 30. This compares with a draw of 3.3 million barrels for the previous week. Production of middle distillates stood at 4.5 million bpd last week, compared with 4.6 million bpd in the previous week.

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Refineries processed 15.2 million bpd of crude last week, operating at 86.5 percent of capacity as the economy rebounds and boosts oil demand.

Oil prices are reflecting this trend, as well as expectations that travel will soon pick up thanks to mass vaccinations. The European Union said this week it will seek to start allowing foreign tourists into the block beginning from June in an attempt to avoid a second ruined summer tourist season. In the U.S., states began to relax movement restrictions as the rates of vaccinated people continued up.

At the time of writing, Brent crude was trading at $69.63 per barrel, with West Texas Intermediate at $66.43 per barrel, both up from opening.

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