Crude oil prices today inched higher after the Energy Information Administration reported an inventory draw of 9.2 million barrels for the week to January 19.
This compared with a draw of 2.5 million barrels for the previous week, whose effect on prices was muted, however, because of another round of substantial inventory builds in gasoline and middle distillates.
For the week to January 19, the EIA reported mixed changes in fuel inventories.
Gasoline stocks added 4.9 million barrels, according to the authority, with production averaging 8.3 million barrels daily.
This compared with an inventory increase of 3.1 million barrels and average daily production of 9.4 million barrels for the previous week.
In middle distillates, the EIA estimated an inventory decline of 1.4 million barrels for the week to January 19, with production averaging 4.5 million barrels daily.
This compared with a stock build of 2.4 million barrels for the week before last, with average daily production at 4.9 million barrels.
The EIA also said refineries last week had processed 15.3 million barrels of crude daily, which compared with 16.7 million barrels daily for the previous week.
Oil prices, in the meantime, remain stuck between expectations of weaker demand and geopolitical risk in the Middle East. That latter factor pushed prices higher earlier this week but the benchmarks still ended the Tuesday session with a dip.
On Wednesday, prices began trade with a dip as the demand outlook received some bearish support from the latest American Petroleum Institute estimate, which showed another massive build in fuel stocks. Per the API report, gasoline stocks had added 7.2 million barrels in the week to January 19, suggesting sluggish fuel demand in the world’s biggest oil consumer.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- Canada's Uranium Is Fueling the World's Nuclear Energy Boom
- AI's Massive Power Consumption Demands Innovative Energy Solutions
- U.S. Oil Industry Sets Record With $144 Billion of M&A Deals in Q4