WTI crude prices rose slightly today after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported an oil inventory build of 1.7 million barrels for the week to December 30.
This compared with a modest build of 700,000 barrels for the previous week, which in turn followed a weekly draw of 5.9 million barrels.
The EIA said that at 420.6 million barrels, crude oil inventories were still below the seasonal five-year average, by some 4 percent.
A day earlier, the American Petroleum Institute estimated a crude oil inventory build of close to 3.3 million barrels, citing refinery shutdowns that took about 1 million barrels daily in refining capacity offline.
Fuels saw inventory draws in the final week of 2022.
Gasoline inventories shed a modest 300,000 barrels, with production averaging 8.5 million barrels daily. This compared with an inventory draw of 3.1 million barrels for the previous week and production of 10.1 million barrels daily.
In middle distillates, the EIA estimated an inventory decline of 1.4 million barrels for the last week of last year, with production averaging 4 million bpd.
These figures compared with an inventory build of a modest 300,000 barrels and production of 5.1 million bpd. Distillate inventories in the U.S. remain below the five-year seasonal average despite a late boost during the year.
Meanwhile, refineries processed an average of 13.8 million barrels of crude daily in the final week of 2022, which compared with 16.1 million bpd for the previous week.
Imports last week averaged 5.7 million bpd, compared with 6.2 million bpd a week earlier, with the latest four-week average at 6.2 million bpd.
Oil prices got off to a weak start to the year as economic concern grew further, with the IMF forecasting a third of the world’s economies could sink into recession this year and central banks signaling they have no plans to change their aggressive approach to inflation control.
At the time of writing, Brent crude was trading at $78.48 per barrel, with West Texas Intermediate at $73.38 per barrel, both up from opening.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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