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Crude oil inventories sagged by another 4.8 million barrels, American Petroleum Institute (API) data showed on Tuesday, after dropping 5.8 million barrels in the week prior. Analysts anticipated a smaller 2.2 million barrel draw.
U.S. crude inventories may have grown by roughly 21 million barrels so far this year, according to API data, but crude stored in the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves sunk by nearly 10 times that figure so far this year— by 203 million barrels.
The SPR now contains the least amount of crude oil since March 1984.
The draw in commercial crude oil inventories came even as the Department of Energy released 1.6 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves in the week ending November 18, leaving the SPR with just 390.5 million barrels.
In the week prior, the API reported a large draw in crude oil inventories of 5.835 million barrels.
WTI prices continued to increase on Tuesday on reports after OPEC delegates denied an earlier Wall Street Journal report stating that OPEC was mulling a production increase for its next meeting by 500,000 bpd. Following the report, Saudi Arabia even said the group could cut production at its next meeting if the market conditions warranted it. At 2:47 p.m. EST, WTI was trading up $1.01 (+1.26%) on the day at $81.05 per barrel. This is a decrease of more than $5 per barrel from the prior week. Brent crude was trading up $0.95 (+1.09%) on the day at $88.40—also a decrease of more than $5 per barrel on the week.
U.S. crude oil production stayed at 12.1 million bpd for the week ending November 11, 400,000 bpd more than the levels seen at the start of the year, and still a 1 million bpd shortfall from the levels seen at the start of the pandemic.
The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories this week of 400,000 barrels for the week ending November 18, after the previous week’s 1.690 million-barrel build.
Distillate stocks saw a build this week of 1.1 million barrels, on top of last week’s 850,000-barrel increase.
Cushing inventories fell 1.4 million barrels in the week to Nov 18, on top of last week’s reported decrease of 842,000 barrels.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.