Crude oil prices inched down today after the Energy Information Administration reported an inventory increase of 1.4 million barrels for the week to October 20.
This compared with an inventory draw of 4.5 million barrels for the previous week.
A day before the EIA’s report came out, the American Petroleum Institute estimated inventories had declined by 2.7 million barrels in the week to October 20. It also reported a sizeable gasoline inventory draw that helped push prices higher.
According to the EIA, gasoline stocks added a modest 200,000 barrels in the week to October 20. Gasoline production averaged 9.8 million barrels daily in the reporting week.
This compared with an inventory draw of 2.4 million barrels for the previous week, when production averaged 9.8 million barrels daily.
In middle distillates, the EIA estimated an inventory decline of 1.7 million barrels for last week, with production seen averaging 4.7 million barrels daily.
This compared with a draw of 3.2 million barrels the previous week, and production averaging 4.7 million bpd.
Refineries processed 15.2 million barrels of crude daily last week, down from 15.4 million bpd the week before. Imports stood at an average daily of 6 million barrels in the week to October 20, up slightly on the previous week.
Oil prices, meanwhile, stabilized after shedding some 6% between Friday and Tuesday as fears of an escalation in the Middle East subsided amid stepped up diplomatic efforts to contain the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The latest economic data from Europe helped soften prices, too. S&P Global reported that the PMI for the eurozone this month fell to 46.5 from 47.2 in September. This is the lowest reading since November 2020, Reuters noted in its report on the news.
On the other hand, prices received some support on Tuesday from the API report, as analysts polled by Reuters had expected a build in crude oil inventories rather than a draw, which suggests demand is more robust than those analysts had assumed.
At the time of writing, Brent crude was trading at $87.98 per barrel while West Texas Intermediate was changing hands for $83.54 per barrel, both slightly down from opening.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
- IEA: OPEC+ Production Cuts To Send Oil Prices And Volatility Surging
- Guyana's Oil Boom Challenges OPEC+ Dominance
- Most Canadians Oppose Federal Plan To Write Down Trans Mountain Debt