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Oil Price Rally Stalls On Large Crude Build

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday a build in crude oil inventories of 3.8 million barrels for the week ending November 20.

Analysts had predicted an inventory build of just 127,000 barrels, and for the short price run due to favorable covid-10 vaccine news over the last week or so, it likely means curtains. 

In the previous week, the API reported a build in oil inventories of 4.174-million barrels, after analysts had predicted a build of 1.95 million barrels for the week.

Oil prices were trading up on Tuesday afternoon before the API's data release on another round of positive vaccine news. While the threat of lower oil demand still looms large over the markets in general, back-to-back announcements by pharmaceutical companies—including Moderna and AstraZeneca, which are part of U.S. President Trump's Operation Warp Speed. The results show a high degree of efficacy for multiple vaccine candidates. 

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In the run-up to Tuesday's data release, at 2:45 p.m. EDT, WTI had risen by $1.82 (+4.23%) to $44.88, up roughly $4 per barrel on the week. The Brent crude benchmark had risen on the day by $1.74 at that time (+3.78%) to $47.80—up about $4.50 per barrel on the week. 

U.S. oil production was up for the week ending November 13, at 10.9 million bpd, according to the Energy Information Administration—2.2 million bpd lower than the all-time high of 13.1 million bpd reached in March. 

The API reported a build in gasoline inventories of 1.3 million barrels of gasoline for the week ending November 20—compared to the previous week's 256,000-barrel build. Analysts had expected a 614,000-barrel build for the week. 

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Distillate inventories were down by 1.8-million barrels for the week, compared to last week's 5.024-million-barrel draw, while Cushing inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels.

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At 4:43 p.m. EDT, the WTI benchmark was trading at $44.69, while Brent crude was trading at $47.76.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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