The Energy Information Administration said that commercial crude oil inventories gained 1.7 million barrels in the week to July 22, reaching 521.1 million barrels. This is a historic high for this time of year, the agency noted in its weekly inventory report.
Yesterday, The American Petroleum Institute reported an 800,000-barrel draw in commercial crude oil inventories for last week. Strategic inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, however, were up by 1.4 million barrels, according to the industry body.
Last week, the EIA reported figures in tune with those released by the American Petroleum Institute, namely, a 2.3-million-barrel draw in commercial inventories. However, an unexpectedly large buildup in gasoline stockpiles sent the market into frenzy.
For the week to July 22, the EIA also reported gasoline inventories rose by 500,000 barrels, while distillate fuel inventories were down by 800,000 barrels. API had the figure pegged at a draw of 420,000 barrels, and a 290,000-barrel rise in distillate fuel stocks.
Refineries processed an average 26.6 million barrels daily over the reporting period, down 277,000 barrels on the week. Capacity utilization was at 92.4 percent. Gasoline production was 10.1 million barrels a day
The U.S. imported an average of 8.4 million barrels of crude daily in the week to July 22, a 303,000-barrel weekly increase. Over the last four weeks, the EIA said, imports averaged a daily 8.2 million barrels, up 8.7 percent on July 2015.
WTI was trading at US$43.16 a barrel shortly before the EIA release, up from US$42.76 at the time of release of the API figures, and Brent crude was changing hands at US$44.86 a barrel, up modestly from US$44.58 yesterday.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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