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Oil Prices Inch Higher After API Reports Surprise Crude Draw

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a surprise draw of 1.050 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending January 30, according to the API data. Analysts had expected a build of 3.189 million barrels in crude oil inventories.

Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build of 3.229 million barrels of crude oil, along with a hefty increase in gasoline inventories of 2.692 million barrels.

But this week the news is much rosier, with the API reporting not only a draw for crude oil, but for gasoline as well. The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories of 227,000 barrels for the week ending January 30. Analysts had expected a small 459,000 barrel build.

The WTI and Brent benchmarks both took losses earlier in the week, and on Tuesday the prices took a hit as the EIA upped its prediction for US production, foretelling that the US will reach 11 million bpd by the end of 2018—a full year earlier than the agency had predicted last month.

At 2:26pm EST, WTI was trading down 1.23% (-$0.79) at $63.36—more than $1 below this time last week. The Brent benchmark was trading down 1.21% (-$0.82) at $66.80—almost $2 under last week.

Distillate inventories saw a large increase this week of 4.552 million barrels, largely offsetting last week’s 4.096-million-barrel decline. Analysts had forecast a much smaller decline of 1.419-million-barrels.

Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site decreased by 633,000 barrels this week.

Related: Oil Prices Ravaged By Financial Turmoil

While US crude oil inventories are up for the week, production for week ending January 26 is also up, coming in at 9.919 million bpd, yet another new high.

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

By 4:37pm EST, the WTI benchmark was trading down 1.11% on the day to $63.44 while Brent was trading down 1.08% on the day at $66.89.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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