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Oil Jumps After API Reports Draw In Crude Oil Inventories

The American Petroleum Institute (API) estimated on Tuesday a large crude oil inventory draw, of 4.8 million barrels for the week ending May 15.

Analysts had predicted an inventory build of 1.151 million barrels.

In the previous week, the API estimated a large build in crude oil inventories of 7.58 million barrels. Meanwhile, the EIA’s estimates were for wildly different, with the industry body reporting last week that the inventories had fallen by 700,000 barrels.

WTI was trading up on Tuesday afternoon prior to the API’s data release, but the day had already seen swings from a gain for the day to a loss, then back to a gain as the demand picture looks a bit rosier than has in past weeks on the last day of the June futures contract—a day that last month was plagued with uncertainty and negative oil prices.

Oil production in the United States has now fallen from 13.1 million bpd on March 13 to 11.6 million bpd for May 8, according to the Energy Information Administration—a drop of 1.5 million bpd.

At 4:00 pm EDT on Tuesday the WTI benchmark was trading up on the day by $0.54 (+1.70%) at $32.36—nearly $7 per barrel up from this time last week. The price of a Brent barrel was trading down on Tuesday, by $0.10 -(0.29%), at $34.71 as traders took their profits. The Brent barrel is down roughly $5 per barrel week on week, with the spread between WTI and Brent closing.

The API reported a draw of 651,000 barrels of gasoline for week ending May 15—compared to last week’s 1.911-million-barrel draw. This week’s draw compares to analyst expectations for a 2.134-million-barrel draw for the week.

Distillate inventories were up by 5.1 million barrels for the week, compared to last week’s 4.712-barrel build, while Cushing inventories saw a draw of 5 million barrels.

At 4:42 pm EDT, WTI was trading at $32.36 while Brent was trading at $34.51.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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