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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a major draw of 5.78 million barrels in United States crude oil inventories, compared to analyst expectations of a draw of 1.75 million barrels for the week ending August 25.
Gasoline inventories rose by 476,000 barrels for the week ending August 25.
Crude prices fell on Monday and Tuesday as traders fear crude oil inventories will rise as Hurricane Harvey takes offline refining capacity in the United States, potentially for weeks until refineries are back running at full capacity. Although there have been weeks upon weeks of crude oil inventory draws as of late, oil prices have still failed to climb with any significant meaning—a fact which has not deterred oil production in the US, which stood at 9.528 million bpd for the week ending August 18, well on its way toward the most recent 2018 daily average proposed by the EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook of 9.91 million barrels.
Over the last ten weeks, according to the API, crude oil inventories in the United States have shed more than 46 million barrels.
At 3:09pm, WTI had fallen 0.19% on the day to $46.48 while Brent crude traded up .04% at $51.91. per barrel. Gasoline prices were trading up 4.37% at $1.7872—a figure $.20 higher than last week.
Distillate inventories fell this week, by 486,000 barrels, while inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site increased by 582,000 barrels.
By 4:36pm EST, WTI was trading at $46.38 with Brent Crude trading at $51.96.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on oil inventories is due on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT.
Important Note For Energy Investors: The widening gap between WTI and Brent continues to create opportunities for traders. A spread this wide hasn’t occurred since early 2015. Analysts now believe a strong bounce in oil prices is due as inventories have been drawing at a ‘phenomenal’ pace. Stay informed on these spreads and trends by following the hundreds of global blends on our oil price page.
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.