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Bigger Than Expected Crude Inventory Draw Boosts Oil Prices

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Wednesday a major draw in crude oil inventories of 5.421 million barrels for the week ending October 9.

Analysts had predicted an inventory draw of 2.835-million barrels.

In the previous week, the API reported a build in crude oil inventories of 951,000 barrels, after analysts had predicted a build of 400,000 barrels.

Oil prices were trading up on Tuesday afternoon before the API’s data release, despite industry reports from the IEA and OPEC that suggested oil demand growth could be weaker than anticipated.

In the runup to Tuesday’s data release, at 4:08 pm EDT, WTI had risen by $0.83 (+2.06%) to $41.03, up $0.40 per barrel on the week. The Brent crude benchmark had risen by $0.87 at that time (+2.05%) to $43.32.

Oil production in the United States rebounded last week, but was still down from a high of 13.1 million bpd on March 13. U.S. oil production currently sits at 11.0 million bpd, according to the Energy Information Administration—2.1 million bpd under those March highs.

The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories of 1.513-million barrels of gasoline for the week ending October 9—compared to the previous week’s 867,000-barrel draw. Analysts had expected a 1.607-million-barrel draw for the week.

Distillate inventories were down by 3.930 million barrels for the week, compared to last week’s 1.033-million-barrel draw, while Cushing inventories rose by 2.199-million barrels.

At 4:33 pm EDT, the WTI benchmark was trading at $41.03 while Brent crude was trading at $43.31.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • John Wenzel on October 15 2020 said:
    With Delta taking out almost 4 MB of crude in last weeks DOE reporting period and over 8 MB in the next weeks....I question how this small draw can be counted as a surprise. The only explanation I find is the small group of analysts that are polled don't make adjustments for knowable, measurable current events.

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