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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a larger-than-anticipated draw this week for crude oil of 3.479 million barrels, compared to analyst predictions of a 1.167 million barrel draw.
U.S. crude inventories have shed some 73.5 million barrels since the start of 2021 and about 17.5 million barrels since the start of 2020.
In the week prior, the API reported a surprise draw in crude oil inventories of 4.784 million barrels after analysts had predicted a build of 2.167 million barrels.
Analysts and traders surveyed by the Wall Street Journal early today anticipated a 200,000 fall in U.S. oil inventories and a 300,000 barrel drop in gasoline stockpiles.
Of the 11 analysts surveyed by WSJ, seven are predicting a decrease and four, an increase in crude oil inventories.
They also expect distillates to record a decrease of up to 1.5 million barrels.
Crude oil prices remained bullish Tuesday after the latest signal from the European Union that it is preparing to impose an oil embargo on Russia.
China Covid lockdowns continued to exert downward pressure on benchmarks, temporarily reversing the price rise, but the upside potential remains substantial, especially after BP’s CEO Bernard Looney told Reuters he expected the deficit of Russian oil to double from 1 million bpd to 2 million bpd this month.
WTI was trading down 2.51% at $102.50 per barrel on the day at 4:30 p.m. EST—and down roughly 2% on the week. Brent crude was trading up 3.63% on the day at $105.90 per barrel, down 2.31% from Monday.
The API also reported a draw in gasoline inventories of 4.50 million barrels for the week ending April 29—after the previous week's 3.91-million-barrel draw.
Distillate stocks saw a draw in inventory of 4.457 million barrels for the week compared to last week's 431,000-barrel increase.
Cushing saw a 0.978-million-barrel build this week. According to EIA data from April 22, cushing inventories rose to 27.450 million barrels—down from 59.2 million barrels at the start of 2021, and down from 37.3 million barrels at the end of 2021.
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.