U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are trading slightly better on Friday as Hurricane Laura moved beyond the heart of the U.S. oil industry in Louisiana and Texas without causing any major damage to production and refining facilities.
With refineries spared from feared massive flooding, the initial assessment shows no damage to the upstream or downstream facilities. Additionally, crude oil has given back most of the storm premium and could return to its elongated holding pattern.
U.S. Energy Information Administration Weekly Inventories Report
On Wednesday, the EIA reported a crude oil inventory draw of 4.7 million barrels for the week to August 21. At 507.8 million barrels, oil inventories are 15 percent above the five-year average for this time of the year. Analysts had expected an inventory draw of 3.833 million barrels for the week to August 21.
In gasoline, the EIA estimated an inventory draw of 4.6 million barrels, compared with a decline of 3.3 million barrels a week earlier that sparked hopes the excessive supply of gasoline was being drained by recovering demand for fuels. Gasoline production last week averaged 9.5 million bpd, up from 9.4 million bpd in the previous week.
In distillate fuels, the EIA reported an inventory increase of 1.4 million barrels, after a modest build of 200,000 barrels a week earlier. Distillate fuel production rose last week, to 5.1 million bpd, compared with 4.7 million bpd a week earlier.