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Oil Prices Slide On Rising Crude Inventories

The Energy Information Administration reported a 1.1-million-barrel rise in commercial crude oil inventories for the week to August 5. The total reached 523.6 million barrels—a record-high for the season, the agency said.

Last week, crude oil inventories were up 1.4 million barrels, according to the EIA.

Refineries processed 16.6 million barrels daily, with gasoline production averaging 10.1 million barrels per day.

Stockpiles of total motor gasoline fell by 2.8 million barrels in the reporting period, compared with a 3.3-million-barrel decline in gasoline stockpiles in the previous week. Distillate output fell to 4.7 million barrels in the week to August 5.

Refineries operated at 92.2 percent of capacity, processing 255,000 barrels less than in the week to July 29.

Imports of crude oil stood at an average of 8.4 million barrels a day in the seven days to August 5, a 334,000-barrel per day decline from the previous week, but in line with the average for the last four weeks, the EIA also said. This was an 11.5 percent increase on the year.

Yesterday, the American Petroleum Institute reported the biggest weekly rise in crude oil stockpiles in three months, at 2.09 million barrels for the week to August 5, again missing official data by quite a margin. This rise, according to the API, was accompanied by a 3.9-million-barrel reduction in gasoline inventories and a 1.5-million-barrel draw in distillate stockpiles. This added another shock to the already volatile Tuesday market in contradiction of analyst expectations.

An upward revision of U.S. crude oil output added to the bearish sentiment, sending oil further down yesterday, with WTI ending the session at US$42.77 a barrel, and Brent settling at US$44.98 a barrel.

At the time of writing of this article, WTI was trading at US$42.60 and Brent was changing hands at US$44.91 a barrel.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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