Crude oil prices remained largely unchanged today after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a modest crude oil inventory build of 700,000 barrels for the week to April 22.
This compared with an inventory decline of 8 million barrels for the previous week that pushed prices higher.
At 414.4 million barrels, crude oil inventories are 16 percent below the five-year average for the season.
In fuels, the EIA reported inventory declines.
Gasoline inventories shed 1.6 million barrels last week, which compared with a modest draw of 800,000 barrels for the previous week. Going forward, gasoline inventories may fall further as refiners opt for greater middle distillate production due to tighter supply globally.
Gasoline production averaged 9.5 million barrels daily last week, which compared with 9.8 million barrels daily a week earlier.
Middle distillate inventories last week fell by 1.4 million barrels, which compared with a draw of 2.7 million barrels for the previous week.
Middle distillate production averaged 4.8 million barrels daily last week, which compared with 4.8 million barrels daily a week earlier.
Refineries in the U.S. processed an average of 15.7 million barrels daily last week, a little less than they processed a week earlier.
Imports of crude oil into the U.S. averaged 5.9 million bpd in the week to April 22, which compared with 5.8 million bpd a week earlier.
Crude was trading at a gain at the time of writing, with Brent crude at $103.70 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate changing hands at $100.20 per barrel. The European Union continues to mull over the possibilities of imposing an embargo on Russian oil.
Yesterday, prices slipped a little after the American Petroleum Institute estimated an unexpectedly large inventory build in crude oil but later recouped their losses and ended trade on Tuesday with gains. The driver behind the gains was a plan by the Chinese government for economic support measures in case it has to lock down Beijing.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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