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Oil Prices Rise After API Reports Staggering Crude Oil Draw

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a staggeringly large draw of 11.19 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending January 5, marking six large draws in as many weeks, according to the API data. Analysts, had expected a much smaller drawdown of 3.89 million barrels in crude oil.

Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a large draw of 4.992 million barrels of crude oil, along with an increase in gasoline inventories of 1.87 million barrels.

This week, the API is reporting another build in gasoline inventories of 4.338 million barrels for the week ending January 5. Analysts had expected a smaller, 2.625-million-barrel build.

WTI and Brent soared to three-year highs on Tuesday before the data on the expectation that crude oil inventories would decline yet another week, along with EIA’s updated forecast for oil demand growth that shows an increase over previous figures of 100,000 bpd.

WTI was trading up 2.33% (+$1.44) at $63.17 at 1:51pm EST. The Brent benchmark was trading up 1.76% (+$1.19) at $68.97. Still analysts are cautious of its long-term prospects as US shale is expected to continue to eat away at OPEC’s production cut efforts as prices rise, although that caution appears to be weakening somewhat as prices continue to hold.

Distillate inventories also saw a build this week of 4.685 million barrels, against a forecast of a 1.464-million-barrel build.

Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site decreased by 2.516 million barrels this week.

Related: Is An Oil Price Correction Overdue?

The continued drop in US crude oil inventories comes as the United States continues to ramp up production, hitting the second highest production level of 2017 in the last week of December of 9.782 million bpd.

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

By 4:36pm EST, the WTI benchmark was trading up 1.99% on the day to $62.96 while Brent was trading up 1.50% on the day at $68.80.


By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • John Brown on January 10 2018 said:
    You got to love at how effective the entire oil industry from OPEC/Russia to the markets to the financial industry that supports it is at manipulating oil prices higher despite the fact that there remains a glut of oil sloshing around the world, and to prop up prices huge amounts of readily available capacity have been idled. Today its a huge drawdown in oil inventories, even though overall they are above average. Nobody seems to notice that the drawdown corresponded with an increase in gas inventories, but then that's the game. Today its an oil inventory drawdown, tomorrow oil inventories will increase but gas will draw down more than expected, if not that then we'll have a refinery fire, or a pipeline will leak and be taken out of service, or we'll focus on the instability in Iran or Venezuela. Never mind that the supply of oil still isn't balanced as they say, and that idled capacity could replace Iran or Venezuela in days or weeks, and everybody's strategic reserves are full.
    Never mind all that because everybody makes more money the higher oil prices go. There reality is there's no reason oil should be above $40 a barrel, possibly even $30, but the longer its around $60 the faster U.S. production will soar, and the more competitive renewables will be as the cost of both continues to drop and both continue to gain market share. Let Saudi Arabia and Russia keep their oil in the ground, and let the USA sell its oil and gas before electric cars and renewables take over, which will happened fast than anybody thinks. Meanwhile even $60 or $63 is great for WTI, since its not enough to really hurt the growing economy, and its means jobs and money pouring into and from the U.S. oil sector. So let the manipulators manipulate.
  • Neil Dusseault on January 09 2018 said:
    So, despite weeks and weeks of consecutive gasoline builds, the price of RBOB continues to soar (today alone it was up 5-6 cents). Every week for several weeks now analysts have called for either a draw in gasoline stocks or a smaller build than what both API and the EIA have reported.

    All this in addition to the fact that U.S. production is nearing all-time highs, storage levels are still above 5-year averages, the Forties pipeline is back online, and not one barrel of oil has been taken off the market due to Iranian protests.

    Also, while oil inventories have been dropping (including storage levels at Cushing), both gasoline and distillate stocks have continually been increasing far beyond expectations--and during times of record low temperatures and a busy holiday season!

    Then why is RBOB surging every day, week after week? I know unleaded gasoline is a byproduct of oil, but it is still a separately-traded commodity in the futures market.
  • Petergrt on January 09 2018 said:
    Considering the added builds of gasoline and distillates above the expectations, and assuming that it takes about two barrels of crude to generate one barrel of either gas or distillates, that overage represents almost 10 million barrels of crude, which, when subtracted from the crude build, leaves only about 1.3 million barrels build . . . . as opposed to the 3,89 expected draw.

    But Markets' knee-jerk reaction is only driven by the headline crude stock number, rather than the big picture.

    With over 1 billion barrels of crude being controlled by speculators - that 'storage' is more than double of US crude stock . . . . . which will have to be unwound someday . . . . . what will that do to the oil price . . .?

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