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Markets Brace As API Estimates First Crude Inventory Build In Eight Weeks

Shale well

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a 1.5-million-barrel build in its latest data release on Tuesday afternoon. The build to crude inventory sent oil prices downward, even though a build, although more modest, was expected. Analysts had forecast a 1.2 million-barrel build.

This is the first increase to crude inventory in eight weeks.

What the market was hoping for was another draw week, which would have been eight straight weeks of declines to crude inventory.

Oil prices were already trading down more than 2% on Tuesday before the data release on a strong dollar, rising US production, and reservations that OPEC would follow through with its promised cuts—although Saudi Arabia and a handful of other OPEC members do appear to be putting on the brakes. Iraq, however, is upping February exports from its Basra port to all-time highs, worrying markets.

Last week, the API reported a large draw on crude inventories, down 7.4 million barrels from the week prior, marking the fifth draw in seven weeks, and the largest draw since September 2016.

Crude inventory at the Cushing, Oklahoma facility saw a draw of 187,000 barrels, after last week’s 482,000-barrel build.

Shocking the markets further was a gasoline build of 1.7 million barrels, which although not a huge figure by itself, is tough to swallow combined with last week’s massive 4.25-milllion-barrel build, which was largest build in gasoline stocks in a year.

Distillates also climbed by 5.5 million barrels, after last week’s 5.24-million-barrel build.

Markets will now look to substantiate this afternoon’s API release with tomorrow’s EIA inventory report.

WTI was trading down after the data release 2.27% at $50.78, and Brent was trading down 2.44% at $53.60.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • jman57 on January 11 2017 said:
    Article is full of false information mixing API data with EIA data. Combined crude and petroleum products have had huge builds recently not counting oil being hidden away on ships, leased land, and who knows where else.
  • Chris on January 10 2017 said:
    I don't understand why this article refers to 8 weeks of draws and this being the first build. Isn't the below the historic API data, showing a build on 28 Dec and 13 Dec? Am I missing something here?

    Jan 04, 2017 16:35 -7.400M
    Dec 28, 2016 16:35 4.200M
    Dec 20, 2016 16:35 -4.150M
    Dec 13, 2016 16:35 4.680M
    Dec 06, 2016 16:35 -2.210M
    Nov 29, 2016 16:35 -0.717M
  • rjs on January 10 2017 said:
    someone ought to try to explain near record low distillates consumption two weeks in a row...

    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WDIUPUS2&f=W

    people stop heating their homes? truck drivers on strike?

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