The Energy Information Administration today reported a 6.5-million-barrel increase in commercial crude oil stocks in the U.S., a day after the American Petroleum Institute reported a smaller build in inventories of 5.8 million barrels.
Prices after the API report remained relatively stable, most likely because of positive news coming from the OPEC camp: according to several estimates, the members of the cartel have cut around 1 million bpd from their combined output, demonstrating the compliance that most investors have been worrying about after the production cut deal struck last November.
In light of this, EIA’s report is also not very likely to swing the market, especially since the EIA noted that total crude oil stockpiles stood at 494.8 million barrels at the end of the week to January 27, within seasonal limits.
Gasoline inventories rose by 3.9 million barrels in the period, the authority also said, confirming and, as with crude oil inventories, topping API estimates of a 2.9-million-barrel increase. Distillate stockpiles rose by 1.6 million barrels.
Refineries, operating at 88.2 percent of capacity, churned out an daily average of 9.1 million barrels of gasoline and 4.7 million barrels of distillate last week, compared with 8.8 million barrels of gasoline and 4.6 million barrels of distillate in the prior week.
Imports for the seven-day period stood at 8.3 million barrels daily, up from 7.8 million bpd in the previous week.
Earlier today, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Khalid al-Falih told the BBC in an interview that the Kingdom was considering increasing its investments in U.S. oil and gas, encouraged by President Trump’s pro-energy agenda. The remarks come after Trump said, soon after the elections, that the U.S. doesn’t really need Saudi oil, prompting comments from al-Falih that such a move would be harmful to the U.S. economy.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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