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Large Inventory Draws Boost Crude Prices

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a massive draw in crude oil inventories of 7.688 million barrels for the week ending April 30.

Analysts had predicted a more modest draw of 2.346 million barrels for the week.

In the previous week, the API reported a major build in oil inventories of 4.319 million barrels after analysts had predicted a much smaller build of 659,000 barrels.

Rose Rock Midstream tanks as of April 30.

Oil prices were trading up on the day prior to the data release as the EU and several U.S. states plan to relax their lockdown restrictions in a move that would bolster oil demand, even as the number of new coronavirus cases in India remains high.

At 3:44 p.m. EDT, WTI traded at $65.68, or 1.85% up on the day and roughly $3 higher per barrel than this time last week. Brent crude traded up at $68.84 per barrel or 1.89% up on the day.

While crude oil inventories fell substantially this week, U.S. oil production slipped back, too, albeit modestly, to 10.9 million bpd on average for the week ending April 23, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration.

If the bulls weren't cheering enough already for the crude stock drawdown, they certainly will for the gasoline drawdown. The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories of 5.308 million barrels for the week ending April 30—after the previous week's 1.288 million barrel draw. Analysts had expected a 652,000 barrel draw for the week.

Distillate stocks, too, saw a decrease in inventories this week of 3.453 million barrels for the week, after last week's 2.417-barrel decrease.

Cushing inventories were the only stock build this week, rising by 548,000 barrels.

Post data release, at 4:33 p.m. EDT, the WTI benchmark was trading at $65.68 while Brent crude was trading at $68.84 per barrel.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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