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Oil Continues To Plunge On Bearish Crude Inventory Data

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has estimated a surprise crude oil inventory build of 592,000 barrels for the week ending September 12, compared to analyst expectations of a 2.889-million barrel draw.

Last week saw a large draw in crude oil inventories of 7.227 million barrels, according to API data. The EIA estimated that week that there was a slightly smaller inventory draw instead, of 6.9 million barrels.

After today’s inventory move, the net draw for the year is 25.31 million barrels for the 38-week reporting period so far, using API data.

Oil prices were trading down sharply on Tuesday prior to the data release, after anonymous Reuters sources gave a more optimistic timeline for Saudi Arabia’s oil production to return to normal within weeks, rather than within months. Oil prices had risen by 20% on Monday after oil giant Saudi Aramco suffered widespread oil production outages in the wake of an airstrike that targeted critical oil infrastructure.

At 11:35am EDT, WTI was trading down $3.44 (-5.47%) at $59.46—a $1.50 rise from this time last week. Brent was trading down $3.69 (-5.45%) at $63.99, or a $1.00 per barrel increase over last week’s levels.  

The API this week reported a build of 1.599 million barrels of gasoline for week ending September 12. Analysts predicted a draw in gasoline inventories of 1.033 barrels for the week.

Distillate inventories rose by 1.998 million barrels for the week, while inventories at Cushing fell by 846,000 barrels.

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending September 6 stayed at 12.4 million bpd mark, down just 100,000 bpd from its all-time high.

At 4:42pm EDT, WTI was trading at $59.01, while Brent was trading at $63.21.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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