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API Reports Unexpected Decrease in U.S. Crude Supplies

Crude oil inventories in the United States fell this week by 5.215 million barrels for the week ending January 5, according to The American Petroleum Institute (API), after analysts predicted a draw of 1.2 million barrels. The API reported a 7.418-million-barrel draw in crude inventories in the week prior.

On Tuesday, the Department of Energy (DoE) reported that crude oil inventories in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) rose by 0.6 million barrels. Inventories are now at 355 million barrels, with total purchases for the SPR totaling about 8 million barrels since the Biden Administration began its buyback program.

Oil prices were trading up ahead of API data release. At 3:46 pm ET, Brent crude was trading up 1.71% at $77.42—a decrease of just over $1 per barrel compared to where it was this same time last week. The U.S. benchmark WTI was trading up on the day by 1.84%, at $72.07–a decrease of roughly $1 per barrel compared to this time last week. 

Gasoline inventories saw another large build this week, rising by 4.896 million barrels, after rising by 6.913-million barrels in the week prior. As of last week, gasoline inventories are now slightly above five-year average for this time of year, according to EIA data. 

Distillate inventories also rose this week, by 6.873 million barrels, after rising by 6.686 million barrels in the week prior. Distillates are roughly 6% below the five-year average. 

Cushing inventories fell by 625,000 barrels, after rising by 765,000 barrels in the previous week.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • Andy Kostiuk on January 10 2024 said:
    Why are we seeing another bifurcation between the EIA and API. Election year perhaps?
  • Mamdouh Salameh on January 10 2024 said:
    The US Department of Energy (DoE) announced yesterday that 0.6 million barrels of crude oil (mb) have been added to the US SPR out of 8.0 mb purchased last year. and out of 216 mb withdrawn over 2021 and 2022.

    At this rate of purchases it could take an estimated 27 years to return the 216 mb to the SPR to lift it to its pre-2021 level of 571 mb.

    However, I very much doubt that the SPR will ever be refilled to its pre-2021 level because US. crude oil production could hardly contribute much and the robust global oil demand leaves hardly much oil for sale.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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