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U.S. Crude Oil And Gasoline Inventories Drop Off

Product Draws Not Enough to Offset Huge Crude Build

Crude oil prices trended lower today after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported an estimated inventory increase of 12 million barrels for the week to February 9.

The change compared with a build of 5.5 million barrels for the previous week. The American Petroleum Institute had a day earlier estimated an inventory build of a sizeable 8.52 million barrels for the week to February 9.

In fuels, the Energy Information Administration estimated draws.

Gasoline stocks shed 3.7 million barrels in the reporting period, with production standing at an average 9.2 million barrels daily.

This compared with an inventory draw of 3.1 million barrels for the previous week, when production was an average 9 million barrels daily.

In middle distillates, the authority estimated an inventory decline of 1.9 million barrels for the week to February 9, with production averaging 4.1 million barrels daily.

The closure of BP's Whiting refinery and the impact of extremely cold weather in January continues to have an affect on refinery runs with HFI research noting that refinery runs haven't been this low since 2020. 

This compared with an inventory draw of 3.2 million barrels for the previous week, when production averaged 4.4 million bpd.

Crude oil prices, meanwhile, appear to be locked between geopolitical fears of escalation in the Middle East and lowered expectations about rate cuts in the U.S. after the Fed signaled it was in no rush to start reversing its interest rate policy.

As regards demand and supply projections, OPEC and the IEA both published their monthly reports earlier this week. OPEC expects global oil demand growth at 2.2 million bpd this year and 1.8 million bpd in 2025. The IEA, in contrast, expects weaker oil demand, growing by between 1.2 and 1.3 million barrels daily this year.

The IEA also expects comfortable supply levels, entirely sufficient to meet this moderately higher demand, citing stronger output from the Americas. The Energy Information Administration, however, warned earlier this month that production growth in the U.S. this year could be much weaker than it was last year. In fact, the EIA pegged growth at zero for the year.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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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. More