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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 Rally Halts Despite Crude Inventory Draw

Oil prices didn't extend gains today after the Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil inventory decline of 3.3 million barrels for the week to August 19.

This compared with a draw of 7.1 million barrels estimated for the previous week by the Department of Energy agency.

One day before, the American Petroleum Institute had estimated that crude oil inventories had shed 5.6 million barrels in the week to August 19.

In fuels, the inventory situation was a bit different. Gasoline inventories remained virtually unchanged and middle distillate inventories shed barrels in the week to August 19.

In gasoline, the EIA had reported an inventory decline of 4.6 million barrels for the week before last and with last week’s level unchanged, inventories are around 7 percent below the seasonal average.

Gasoline production stood at 9.4 million barrels daily last week, according to the EIA, which compared with 10 million bpd a week earlier.

In middle distillates, the authority estimated an inventory decline of 700,000 barrels for the week to August 19, which compared with a modest increase of 800,000 barrels for the previous one.

Middle distillate production stood at 5.2 million bpd last week, compared with 5.1 million bpd for the previous week.

Meanwhile, oil prices continued seesawing between supply concerns and demand concerns in the face of a looming recession for much of the world.

At the time of writing, Brent crude was trading at $100.70 per barrel, with West Texas Intermediate at $94.30 per barrel, both up again, after surging by 4 percent yesterday on the prospect that OPEC+ might need to reverse its production growth to limit the decline in prices.

The idea was floated by the Energy Minister of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz bin Salman, who called the current market situation in oil schizophrenic, noting the growing disconnect between physical and paper markets.

The oil futures market, bin Salman said on Monday, had fallen into "a self-perpetuating vicious circle of very thin liquidity and extreme volatility", Reuters reported.

"Without sufficient liquidity, markets can’t reflect the realities of the physical fundamentals in a meaningful way and can give a false sense of security at times when spare capacity is severely limited and the risk of severe disruptions remains high," the Saudi energy minister warned.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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