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Large Draw In Distillate Inventories Lifts Oil Prices

The American Petroleum Institute (API) estimated that there was a build this week for crude oil of 2.811 million barrels, largely in line with analyst predictions of a 2.796 million barrels build.

U.S. crude inventories have shed some 76 million barrels since the start of 2021 and about 22 million barrels since the start of 2020.

In the week prior, the API reported a large draw in crude oil inventories of 6.1 million barrels after analysts had predicted a build of 2.796 million barrels.

Oil prices were up sharply on Tuesday in the runup to the data release after the White House announced it would ban all Russian oil and gas imports into the United States.

WTI was trading up 3.83% at $124 per barrel on the day at 3:30 p.m. EST—up $20 per barrel on the week. Brent crude was trading up 4.15% on the day at $128 per barrel on the day—up roughly $23 per barrel on the week.

U.S. crude oil production has held steady for four weeks in a row. For the week ending February 25—the last week for which the Energy Information Administration has provided data—crude oil production in the United States stayed at 11.6 million bpd. This is down 1.5 million bpd from the pre-pandemic era.

This week, the API reported a draw in gasoline inventories at 1.988 million barrels for the week ending March 4—on top of the previous week's 2.5-million-barrel draw.

Distillate stocks saw a decrease in inventory of 5.485 million barrels for the week, after last week's 400,000 barrel increase. Cushing saw a 367,000-barrel decrease this week. Cushing inventories stood at 22.8 million barrels as of February 25 and declining—down from 60 million barrels at the start of 2021, and down from 37 million barrels at the end of 2021.

At 4:43 pm, EST, WTI was trading at $124.40 (+4.20%), with Brent trading at $128.70 (+4.46%).

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By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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