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Oil Prices Rise After API Reports Large Crude Draw

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported an extra-large oil inventory draw of 5.17 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending August 18, compared to analyst expectations that this week would see a smaller draw in crude oil inventories of 1.497 million barrels.

Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a surprise build of 3.66 million barrels of crude oil.

The API also reported a draw in gasoline inventories for week ending August 18 in the amount of 930,000 barrels. Analysts predicted a smaller draw of 488,000 barrels.

Oil prices were trading up earlier on Tuesday afternoon prior to the release of the API data on inventories. At 4:01pm EDT, WTI was trading up 0.55% (+$0.36) at $65.78 per barrel, with Brent crude trading up 0.37% (+$0.27) at $72.48 per barrel.

The higher prices were thought to be attributed to a general thought that Iran’s exports would soon wane in the face of additional sanctions that are set to go into effect in November, courtesy of the United States, and by predictions that today’s API report would show a draw in crude oil inventories.

Downward pressure on prices was exhibited by an anticipation of slower oil demand growth. OPEC’s MOMR published last week forecast a grim picture of diminishing oil demand growth rates.

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration flipped back to 10.9 million bpd for the week ending August 10, after briefly touching the 11 million bpd mark a few weeks ago.

Distillate inventories were  up this week—by 1.8 million barrels, compared to an expected build of 1.463 million barrels. Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma site increased slightly this week by 195,000 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 4:37pm EDT, WTI was trading at $65.80 and Brent was trading at $72.50.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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