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Oil Prices Head Higher On Huge Crude Draw

As oil prices continue to fall, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported another major draw of 4.5 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending June 29 - compared to analyst expectations that this week would see a draw of 3.267 million barrels.

Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported an even bigger draw of 9.228 million barrels of crude oil.

The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories for the week ending June 29 of 3.1 million barrels. Analyst expectations were for a draw of 1 million barrels.

Crude oil prices saw mixed activity today, widening the spread between WTI and Brent crude as Libya’s oil production continues to suffer at the hands of the two rival NOC factions who are determined to duke it out. With the production and export capabilities in Libya now crippled, a force majeure is in place. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia as well as the UAE are professing to increase production to offset production losses in Libya, Venezuela, and soon Iran.

At 11:06 a.m. EDT WTI crude was trading at $73.18, down $0.76 (-1.03%). Brent crude was trading at $77.42, up $0.12 (0.16%) on the day. WTI is trading roughly $3 higher this week than last, while Brent is trading up $1.30 week over week.

U.S. crude oil production stagnated for the first week in many months, reaching 10.9 million bpd in the week ending June 22, holding steady for three weeks in a row, according to the EIA.

Distillate inventories saw a draw this week of 438,000 barrels, compared to an expected build of 633,000 barrels.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on crude oil inventories is due to be released on Thursday at 11:00am EDT due to the Independence Day holiday in the United States.

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By 5:55pm EDT, both benchmarks were trading up on the news of a higher than expected draw, with the WTI benchmark trading up 0.27% on the day to $74.14 and Brent trading up 0.71% at $77.85.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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