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Oil Prices Fall As EIA Reports Large Crude Build

The Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil inventory build of 5.7 million barrels for the week to October 25, pressuring oil prices a day after the American Petroleum Institute reported an estimated fourth consecutive inventory build, of 592,000 barrels.

Analysts expected a build of 729,000 barrels for last week after a 1.7-million-barrel draw interrupted a string of five weekly inventory builds, which added more than 19 million barrels to U.S. commercial crude oil inventories.

The EIA also reported gasoline inventories had shed 3.0 million barrels in the week to October 25, with production averaging XX million barrels daily. This compared with a 3.1-million-barrel decline in gasoline stockpiles a week earlier and production of 10.1 million bpd.

Distillate fuel inventories, meanwhile, fell by 1.0 million barrels last week, with production averaging 5.0 million barrels daily. A week earlier, distillate fuel inventories shed 2.7 million barrels while production averaged 4.8 million barrels daily.

Refineries processed 16.0 million barrels daily in the reporting period, with imports at 6.7 million bpd, the EIA also said.

Meanwhile, oil prices have been trending lower on the back of more clouds gathering on the horizon of a U.S.-Chinese trade deal.

“The market has largely ignored the decline in U.S. crude inventories and assumed the demand side will remain weak in the foreseeable future as the global cyclical slowdown deepens,” one energy analyst from CMC Markets told CNBC. Related: Tesla’s Tipping Point: Breaking Into China

At the same time, worry about the OPEC+ production cut agreement has increased after Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister said in a recent interview it was too early to discuss steeper cuts despite oil prices’ resilience to the current cuts.

In addition to these ongoing issues, third-quarter earnings season has so far presented mixed results. While some, such as ConocoPhillips, exceeded analyst expectations, others, such as BP, have posted a loss. These results have highlighted the precarious position of the oil industry: despite strict cost control, swings in oil prices can still lead to unpleasant surprises.

At the time of writing, Brent crude traded at $60.93 per barrel, with WTI at $55.06 per barrel both slightly down from yesterday’s close.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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