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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build of 2.903 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending September 21, compared to analyst expectations that this week would see a draw in crude oil inventories of 1.279 million barrels.
Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build of 1.25 million barrels of crude oil.
The API reported a build in gasoline inventories as well for week ending September 21 in the amount of 949,000 barrels. Analysts had predicted a slightly smaller build of 788,000 barrels in gasoline inventories for the week.
Oil prices were mixed in afternoon trade prior to the release of the API data on inventories. At 12:52pm EDT, WTI was trading down 0.07% (-$0.05) at $72.03 per barrel, but still up by around $2.00 per barrel from last week’s prices. Brent crude was trading up by 0.73% (+$0.59) at $81.12—a figure that is near four-year highs for the benchmark.
WTI managed to swing into positive territory closer to 4:00pm, reaching $72.29.
The psychologically important $80 threshold for the Brent benchmark comes as OPEC and its allies failed over the weekend to agree to immediately lift production to compensate for falling oil production in Venezuela and suspected export decreases—some say as much as 2 million bpd--in Iran as sanctions near.
US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration was up slightly for week ending September 14 at 11.0 million bpd.
Distillate inventories were down this week—by 944,000 barrels, compared to an expected build of 752,000 barrels. Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site increased this week by 260,000 barrels.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on crude oil inventories is due to be released on Wednesday at 10:30a.m. EDT.
By 4:36pm EDT, WTI was trading up at $72.30 and Brent was trading up at $81.18.
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.