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Oil Prices Jump As EIA Reports A Crude Draw

Crude oil prices climbed on Wednesday morning after the Energy Information Administration reported crude oil inventories had shed 5.9 million barrels in the week to April 9.

This compared with an inventory draw of 3.5 million barrels for the previous week.

The EIA’s inventory estimate comes a day after the American Petroleum Institute reported a 3.6-million-barrel inventory draw in crude oil for the same period but a 5.565-million-barrel build in gasoline stocks, which prevented oil prices from swinging significantly up or down.

For gasoline, the EIA estimated a modest inventory build of 300,000 barrels for the week to April 9, with production averaging 9.6 million bpd. This compared with a stock build of 4 million barrels for the previous week and an average production rate of 9.3 million bpd.

In middle distillates, the authority estimated an inventory decline of 2.1 million barrels for the week to April 9, with production averaging 4.6 million bpd, virtually unchanged from the week before last, with inventories adding 1.5 million barrels.

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Brent crude traded at $65.04 a barrel at the time of writing, with West Texas Intermediate at $61.55 per barrel. Both were up by more than 2 percent from opening, supported by news of a 21-percent oil import increase in China last month. However, headwinds remain strong.

“Prices are still locked in a sideways limbo, as bearish Covid-19 developments in some countries compete against bullish economic data and spending projections going forward in US and China,” Rystad Energy analysts said on Tuesday.

Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, said in a new note that it expected prices to remain range-bound through the end of the summer, at between $65 and $70 per barrel for Brent.

The slow rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in Europe and the news that vaccinations with Johnson & Johnson may be suspended temporarily because of rare blood clotting problems in several patients are also weighing on oil prices.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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