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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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Oil Prices Slip After Lower Than Expected Crude Draw

oil tank

A day after the American Petroleum Institute took markets by surprise with a massive, 11-million-barrel inventory draw, the Energy Information Administration reported the draw was actually much smaller, at 4.9 million barrels.

Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts had forecast a draw of 3.5 million barrels, with gasoline stockpiles seen to have increased by 2.3 million barrels in the first week of January. Gasoline stockpiles, according to the EIA rose by a hefty 4.1 million barrels in the reporting period.

The analysts noted that a build in fuel inventories is usual for this time of year, but this time it was likely to be smaller than usual because of the unusually cold weather. Still, gasoline inventories in the prior week, to December 29, 2017, rose by 4.8 million barrels.

The EIA also said that refineries processed 17.3 million barrels of crude daily in the week to January 5, producing 9.5 million barrels of gasoline, versus 9.7 million bpd in the last week of December 2017, which should explain the gasoline build.

A day before the release of the weekly inventory figures, the EIA shook markets with the latest edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, in which the authority forecast U.S. oil production would reach 10.3 million barrels daily this year and rise further to 11 million bpd in late 2019. This would make the country the world’s largest crude oil producer, as long as Saudi Arabia and Russia continue pumping at their current levels.

The EIA also revised upwards its global oil demand outlook by 100,000 bpd that helped push prices higher even before the release of the API estimate.

When the EIA released the weekly inventory figures, WTI was trading at US$63.35 a barrel, up by 0.62 percent. Brent crude was changing hands at $69.00, up 0.26 percent.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh G Salameh on January 10 2018 said:
    The correlation between oil price rises and announcements by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) of increases in US shale oil or a build in US oil stocks or small inventory draws, has become a well-established practice with one objective in mind: curbing the surge of oil prices.

    Today’s announcements by the EIA of a much smaller draw of 4.9 million barrels instead of the 11-million-barrel inventory draw announced earlier by the American Petroleum Institute and the claims that US shale oil production would reach 10.3 million barrels a day (mbd) this year and rise further to 11 mbd in late 2019 are no exception.

    However, true market fundamentals always prevail hence the current surge of oil prices.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • John Wayne on January 10 2018 said:
    Thats amazing, sub zero temperatures in the Dakotas and elsewhere and hardly an effect on production. Maybe the truck transporting the shale oil have real good high tech snow chains.
  • petergrt on January 10 2018 said:
    One of the reasons why US oil stocks are declining is that the US is now exporting more and more crude to Asia and Europe, and together with the Russians are eating the Saudis lunch . . .

    How long will they tolerate this? Well, the Saudis have just lowered their prices to the US . . . .

    I see a major drop in prices coming soon, and yes, I have just gone short on oil, so my comment(s) can indeed be considered as self-serving . . .
  • SXG on January 10 2018 said:
    We have pipeline capacity & thousands of wells shut-in in the Bakken awaiting swing production unlike Permian geniuses who pump pump & pump ruining assets in long run imo. I’m a producer & with mostly eliminating rail etc., we’re flowing smoothly with 53 rigs today 54 last Friday. Oilprice.com missed the ACTUAL BAKKEN rig count horrendously as they’ve been erroneously doing for 22 months. That’s astonishing they refuse to provide Actual data from ND Bakken. This decreases readership imo.

    Cheers - SXG

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