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Oil Giants Turn On Each Other As Crude Prices Plummet

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API Reports Surprise Oil Inventory Draw

Cushing

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has estimated a crude oil inventory draw of 1.7-million barrels for the week ending October 24—in a deviation from analyst expectations of a 729,000-barrel build. The 1.7-million barrel draw was the second set of crude figures released by the API, the first of which was a build. The first numbers, according to sources, were in error.

Last week saw a large build in crude oil inventories of 4.45 million barrels, according to API data. The EIA’s estimates, however, disagreed, reporting a draw of 1.7-million-barrel build for that week.

After today’s inventory move, the net draw for the year now stands at 12.52 million barrels for the 44-week reporting period so far, using API data.

API

Oil prices were trading down on Tuesday prior to the data release, confused with conflicting reports that Saudi Arabia—the kingpin of OPEC—is willing to cut deeper at the December OPEC meeting, while Russia continues to suggest indirectly that it might not be interested in doing more. On top of that, and potentially more worrisome, is the demand growth prospects for oil that most analysts are predicting.

At 11:08am EDT, WTI was trading down $0.60 (-1.08%) at $55.21 per barrel—up $1 week over week. Brent was trading down $0.32 (-0.52%) at $60.93, up roughly $1.50 per barrel week on week.

Related: Shale Stocks Are Suffering From A Sentiment Problem

The API this week reported a draw of 4.7 million barrels of gasoline for week ending October 24. Analysts predicted a draw in gasoline inventories of 2.333 million barrels for the week.

Distillate inventories also fell, by 1.6 million barrels for the week, while inventories at Cushing fell by 846,000 million barrels.

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending October 18 stayed at 12.6 million bpd for the third week in a row—the highest production level that the United States has seen.

At 4:45pm EDT, WTI was trading at $55.47, while Brent was trading at $61.12.

Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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