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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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Oil Prices Inch Higher On Crude, Gasoline Draw

After API’s latest surprise inventory build pressured oil prices, the Energy Information Administration cheered the market up by refuting the build and reporting instead yet another weekly draw, of 2.1 million barrels for the week to September 14.

Last week, the authority estimated crude oil inventories had fallen by another 5.3 million barrels, indicating that demand was still strong. The coming weeks, however, might see a reversal of this trend, with builds accumulating amid refinery maintenance season. For many refiners, this is the last chance to join low-sulfur fuel oil and diesel fuel producers who are set to benefit the most from the new bunkering fuel regulations to come into effect in 2020.

Until refinery maintenance kicks in, however, U.S. facilities processed 17.4 million barrels of crude daily in the week to September 14, compared with 17.9 million bpd a week earlier.

Gasoline inventories went down by 1.7 million barrels last week, compared with a build of 1.3 million barrels a week earlier. These, like distillate fuel inventories, are also expected to start building up during refinery maintenance season, but also because the winter is a weaker season in terms of fuel demand. Distillate fuel inventories last week added 800,000 barrels, from a substantial increase of 6.2 million barrels a week earlier.

As for U.S. production, the EIA earlier this week forecast in its latest Drilling Productivity Report that shale oil production will expand further next month, to 7.59 million barrels daily, or 79,000 bpd more than this month’s daily average.

Earlier this month, in its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA reported preliminary production estimates suggest the United States had overtaken Russia as the world’s top crude oil producer, pumping 10.9 million bpd on average in August. Next year, the EIA estimated, daily production will hit an average of 11.5 million bpd, up from this year’s estimated 10.7 million bpd.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Neil Dusseault on September 19 2018 said:
    Anyone who pays attention to the oil markets should have seen this coming:

    Tomorrow (Thursday, September 20) is the Last Trading Day for front-month contracts of WTI crude oil (October 2018 delivery).

    As I always suspect (since early 2016) prices tend to rise near the LTD...of course, I have been wrong since then but mostly it has proven to be accurate.

    Prices are up so that producers can get the absolute most out of the world. Watch...prices will come back down more or less starting on Thursday at approx. 1:31 PM Central (after the NYMEX pits have closed).

    Next week there will be a build, as predicted by both API & reported by the EIA. This Friday's Baker Hughes rig count data will show increases (bearish). But tomorrow's Genscape report at 9:00 a.m. Central will be bullish, so that prices rise until the 1:30 close. But Monday's Genscape report will be bearish (and probably won't be reported by CNBC--they only report bullish news from Genscape).

    Genscape reports do not get posted anywhere (unlike API, EIA, or Baker Hughes). Their annual subscription is like $2,000. Also, I have my trading platform open for November '18 WTI (currently the most actively traded contract month). As I type, prices are soaring...all of the buy orders are only double-digits but all of the sell orders are in the hundreds.

    So, pop-quiz: If consumers who have to pay for all of this don't benefit from rising prices, then who is doing all of the bidding?!
  • Andrew on September 19 2018 said:
    Add yet bears won't give up, face it the API build you were banking on didn't happen. You lose

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