Crude oil prices rose slightly today after the Energy Information Administration reported an inventory draw of 3.3 million barrels for the week to August 26.
At 418.3 million barrels, inventories are 6 percent below the five-year average for this time of the year.
The number for the week to August 26 compared with a draw of 3.3 million barrels for the previous week.
The picture in fuels was mixed.
In gasoline, the EIA reported an inventory decline of 1.2 million barrels for the week to August 26. This compared with a decline of 4.6 million barrels for the previous week.
Gasoline production last week averaged 9.8 million barrels daily, which compared with 9.4 million bpd for the previous week.
In middle distillates, the EIA estimated a modest inventory build of 100,000 barrels for last week, which compared with a 700,000-barrel draw for the previous week.
Middle distillate production averaged 4.9 million barrels daily last week, which compared with 5.2 million bpd for the previous week.
Meanwhile, diesel prices in the U.S. rebounded above $5 per gallon in the first weekly price increase in two months. Middle distillate inventories are about a fifth below the seasonal average for the last five years.
Crude oil was down at the time of writing, after inching up earlier this week on supply concerns. Brent crude was trading at $96.70 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate was at $90.29, even after the API’s inventory report released Tuesday, which suggested demand for fuels in the world’s largest consumer remained robust.
The American Petroleum Institute reported on Tuesday that gasoline inventories had declined by 3.4 million barrels in the week to August 26, with distillate stocks down by 1.7 million barrels.
Meanwhile, analysts expect a substantial change in oil prices if the U.S. and Iran sign a new nuclear deal. The chances of that happening seem better than before but sticking points remain, so a deal is not certain. Yet if it does get sealed, Brent could fall as low as $65 per barrel, CNBC reported, citing Tamas Varga from PVM Oil Associates.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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