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Oil Prices Inch Lower After API Reports Surprise Gasoline, Crude Build

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a surprise crude oil build of 629,000 barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending July 14 compared to analyst expectations that this week would see a draw in crude oil inventories of 3.622 million barrels.

Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a massive draw of 6.796 million barrels of crude oil.

The API also reported a build in gasoline inventories for week ending July 14 in the amount of 425,000 barrels. Analyst expectations were for a draw of 44,000 barrels.

Crude oil prices were trading near flat today despite multiple bearish signals that included Shell lifting its force majeure on its Bonny Light grade, production increases in the Kurdish region in Iraq, and Venezuela’s pie in the sky plans to lift its oil production out of the doldrums through indeterminate means.

While today saw minimal price moves, both benchmarks are trading down significantly week over week. At 4:21pm EDT, the WTI benchmark was trading down a hair 0.06% (-$0.04) at $68.02. Brent crude was trading up slightly 0.14% (+$0.10) at $71.94. The WTI benchmark is about $6 below last week’s levels at this time. Brent is trading about $7 under last week’s price.

US crude oil production growth is no longer pulling on the oil price reigns. At 10.9 million bpd for the week ending July 06, US production has held steady for five weeks in a row, according to the EIA.

Related: Yamal LNG Is Conquering China

Distillate inventories as well saw a build this week—of 1.71 million barrels, compared to a smaller expected build of 873,000 barrels. Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma site fell by 1.34 million barrels.

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

By 4:40pm EDT, both benchmarks WTI was trading at $68.03 and Brent was trading at $72.00.

By Julianne Geiger of Oilprice.com

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