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API Reports Smaller Crude Oil Build Than Expected

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a crude oil inventory build of 2.098 million barrels for the week ending Jan 25, compared to analyst expectations that we would see a much larger buildup in crude oil inventories to the tune of 7.97 million barrels.

Last week, the API reported a surprise crude build of 6.55 million barrels. A day later, the EIA confirmed the inventory build, but a larger one at 8 million barrels. 

Oil prices were trading up prior to the data released, buoyed in part by unrest in Venezuela and the additional sanctions that may disrupt heavy oil flows to the United States, combined with Saudi Arabia’s pledge to cut its oil production more deeply, even as more and more barrels are removed from the market courtesy of Venezuela and Libya.

At 4:03pm EST on Tuesday, WTI was trading up on the day $1.22 (+2.35%) per barrel at $53.20—a rise of less than $1 per barrel week on week. Brent crude was trading up $1.27 (+2.12%) at $61.08—near flat week on week.  

The API this week reported a build in gasoline inventories for week ending January 25 in the amount of 2.2 million barrels. Analysts had predicted a build of 4.050 million barrels for the week.

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending January 18—the latest information available—stayed at 11.9 million bpd.

Distillate inventories also increased this week by 211,000 barrels, compared to an expected draw of 617,000 barrels.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on crude oil inventories is due to be released on Wednesday at 10:30a.m. EST.

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By 5:10pm EST, WTI was trading up at $53.24 and Brent was trading up at $61.11.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Mark Stable on January 29 2019 said:
    Could it be there is already such a prior build up and glut, with storage already at capacity, room for further build up is no longer there?

    This article hints at supply shortages. Nothing could be further from the truth. Demand shortage is the problem.

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