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Oil Prices Rise After API Reports Surprise Crude Draw

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a small crude oil inventory draw of 998,000 barrels for the week ending February 8, close to analyst expectations that predicted a build in crude oil inventories to the tune of 2.300 million barrels.

Last week, the API reported a surprise crude build of 2.514 million barrels. A day later, the EIA confirmed the inventory build, but a smaller one at 1.3 million barrels. 

Oil prices were trading up on the day prior to the data released on Tuesday as OPEC’s heavyweight Saudi Arabia promised to cut even deeper both oil production and exports in the month of March. Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, said that Saudi Arabia would taper oil production down to 9.8 million barrels per day in March, or roughly 500,000 below its production quota under the OPEC+ deal reached last month.

At 2:51pm EST on Tuesday, WTI was trading $0.69 up on the day (+1.32%) per barrel at $53.10—a rise of on the day but a decrease week on week. Brent crude was trading up $0.95 (+1.54%) at $62.46—up slightly week on week.    

The API this week reported a build in gasoline inventories for week ending February 8 in the amount of 746,000 barrels. Analysts were close in their predictions, estimating a build of 508,000 barrels for the week.

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending February 1—the latest information available—averaged 11.9 million barrels per day for the fourth week in a row.

Distillate inventories decreased this week by 2.481 million barrels, compared to a smaller expected draw of 1.090 million barrels.

Crude oil inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma facility fell by 502,000 barrels for the week.

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

By 4:35pm EST, WTI was trading up at $53.05 and Brent was trading up at $62.40.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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