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Oil Prices Rise After API Reports Small Drop In Gasoline Stockpiles

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build in crude oil inventory of 1.26 million barrels for the week ending February 15, coming in under analyst expectations that predicted a build in crude oil inventories to the tune of 3.080 million barrels.

Last week, the API reported a small but unexpected crude draw of 998,000 barrels. A day later, the EIA reported a larger one of 3.6 million barrels. 

Oil prices were trading up earlier on Tuesday, with WTI trading up $0.80 (+1.42%) at $57.25, while the Brent crude benchmark was trading up $0.68 (+1.02%) at $67.13. Both benchmarks were up on significantly on the week as oil bulls dare to bet on a trade resolution between China and the United States, and as OPEC data shows that Saudi Arabia is willing and able to cut production as promised—and then some. Venezuela’s falling oil production is yet another bullish factor. 

The API this week reported a draw in gasoline inventories for week ending February 15 in the amount of 1.55 million barrels. Analysts estimated a smaller draw in gasoline inventories of 350,000 barrels for the week.

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending February 8—the latest information available—averaged 11.9 million barrels per day for the fifth week in a row.

Distillate inventories decreased this week by 758,000 barrels, compared to an expected draw of 1.691 million barrels.

Crude oil inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma facility grew by 3.24 million barrels for the week.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on crude oil inventories is due to be released on Thursday at 11:00a.m. EST.

By 4:40pm EST, WTI was trading up at $57.20 and Brent was trading up at $67.02.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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