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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a crude oil inventory build of 2.514 million barrels for the week ending February 1, close to analyst expectations that predicted a build in crude oil inventories to the tune of 2.179 million barrels.
Oil prices were trading down prior to the data released on Tuesday as investors weigh price support from OPEC’s zealous adherence to the promised production cuts and the dire situation in Venezuela against recent inventory builds in the United States and fears of weak demand growth in the future. Further confusion to oil prices came later in the day on news from the Wall Street Journal that OPEC is looking to officially align itself with a ten-nation group led by heavyweight oil producer Russia to better manage the oil market—a proposition that will be discussed the week of February 18 in Vienna.
At 3:41pm EST on Tuesday, WTI was trading $0.80 down on the day (-1.47%) per barrel at $53.76—a rise of less than $1 per barrel week on week. Brent crude was trading down $0.46 (-0.74%) at $62.05—a $1 increase week over week.
The API this week reported a build in gasoline inventories for week ending February 1 in the amount of 1.731 million barrels. Analysts again were close in their predictions, estimating a build of 1.601 million barrels for the week.
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US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending January 25—the latest information available—averaged 11.9 million barrels per day for the third week in a row.
In the third build for the week, distillate inventories increased this week by 1.141 million barrels, compared to an expected draw of 1.814 barrels.
Crude oil inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma facility rose by 889,000 barrels for the week.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on crude oil inventories is due to be released on Wednesday at 10:30a.m. EST.
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.