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Oil Prices Flat After API Reports Surprise Crude Build

As the price of Brent Crude hit multi-year highs earlier today, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a surprise build of 4.854 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending May 11, compared to analyst expectations that this week would see a smaller draw in crude oil inventories of 763,000 barrels.

Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a draw of 1.85 million barrels of crude oil.

The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories for week ending May 11 in the amount of 3.369 million barrels—a bigger draw than the 1.421-million-barrel draw that analysts had expected.

Oil prices rose Tuesday to multi-level highs, with Brent crude surpassing the $79-per barrel mark on expectations of robust demand growth in China, and on OPEC’s lately Monthly Oil Market Report, which called the end of the glut. US sanctions on Iran still looming large have also bolstered oil prices.

Prices began to settle in the afternoon hours, and at 2:41p.m. EDT on Tuesday, WTI Crude was up 0.35 percent at $71.21—almost $2 over last week figures and almost $4 per barrel above the two weeks ago price. Brent crude was trading up 0.42% at $78.56.

US crude oil production for the week ending May 4—the most recent data available—increased to 10.703 million bpd, according to the EIA.

Distillate inventories saw a small draw this week of 768,000 barrels. Analysts had forecast a larger decline of 2.155 million barrels.

Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site rose by 62,000 barrels.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on oil inventories is due to be released on Wednesday at 10:30a.m. EST.

By 4:38pm EST, the WTI benchmark was trading up 0.27% on the day to $71.15 while Brent was trading down 0.01% at $78.22.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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