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With oil prices already down on the day, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a large build of 3.427 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending April 27, compared to analyst expectations that this week would see a smaller build in crude oil inventories of 739,000 barrels.
Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a draw of 1.099 million barrels of crude oil.
The API reported a build in gasoline inventories for week ending April 27 in the amount of 1.602 million barrels—a surprise given the 587,000-barrel draw that analysts had expected.
Oil prices fell on Tuesday, with the WTI benchmark trading down $1.13 (-1.65%) at $67.44 at 4:12pm EST. The Brent benchmark was trading down $1.42 (-1.90%) at $73.27—both down from last week’s prices as the dollar rallied and as traders feared higher crude oil inventory figures. Neither fear over US sanctions on Iran nor OPEC’s strong showing in its compliance to the production cuts could hold oil prices up.
Brent topped $75 a barrel last Tuesday for the first time since November 2014, and according to analysts, the possibility of sanctions on Iran has been the most significant driver of the oil price rally in recent weeks.
US crude oil production for the week ending April 20—the most recent data available, increased to 10.586 million bpd, according to the EIA.
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Distillate inventories saw another draw this week of 4.083 million barrels. Analysts had forecast a smaller decline of 1.360 million barrels.
Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site fell this week, with the API reporting a 725,000-barrel draw.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on oil inventories is due to be released on Wednesday at 10:30a.m. EST.
By 4:37pm EST, the WTI benchmark was trading down -1.58% on the day at $67.49 while Brent was trading down -1.77% at $73.37.
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.