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Crude oil inventories rose by 7.615 million barrels, American Petroleum Institute (API) data showed on Wednesday.
U.S. crude inventories increased 13 million barrels last year, according to API data, while crude stored in the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves sunk by 221 million barrels. This week, SPR inventory held steady at 371.6 million barrels as the emergency releases that the Biden Administration announced last spring are now complete. The SPR now contains the least amount of crude oil since early December 1983.
Oil prices were trading down on Wednesday despite some optimistic oil demand forecasts as U.S. recession fears took over. At 3:32 p.m. EST, WTI was trading down $1.05 (-1.31%) on the day to $79.13 per barrel—a weekly increase of roughly $4 per barrel. Brent crude was trading down $1.19 (-1.39%) on the day at $84.73—a weekly increase of about $4.50 per barrel.
U.S. crude oil production rose to 12.2 million bpd for week ending January 6 in what is the highest production rate since last August. U.S. production is still 900,000 bpd lower than the peak production seen in March 2020.
WTI was trading at $79.25 shortly after the data release.
Gasoline inventories rose by 2.8 million barrels, while distillates fell 1.8 million barrels. Cushing added to the weekly inventory gains with 3.7 million barrels.
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.