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Crude oil inventories in the United States fell by big numbers again this week, shedding 4.346 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute (API) data showed on Tueday, with analysts expecting a smaller 1.8 million barrel draw.
The total number of barrels of crude oil gained so far this year is still more than 49 million barrels.
This week, SPR inventory dropped for the first time in 12 weeks, losing 400,000 barrels to reach 371.2 million barrels—the lowest amount of crude oil in the SPR since December 1983.
U.S. crude oil production fell to 12.2 million bpd for week ending March 24. U.S. production is now 900,000 bpd lower than the peak production seen in March 2020, but 500,000 bpd higher than this time last year.
WTI oil prices traded up on Tuesday in the run-up to the data release, still supported by OPEC+’s surprise production cut that will start in May. Brent crude was trading down slightly on the day, although up on the week.
By 4:25 p.m. EST, WTI was trading up $0.10 (+0.12%) on the day to $80.52 per barrel, a gain of about $7 per barrel on the week. Brent crude was trading down $0.09 (-0.11%) on the day at $84.84—up roughly $6 per barrel from this same time last week.
WTI was trading at $80.57 shortly after the data release.
Gasoline inventories fell by 3.970 million barrels after falling in the week prior by 5.891 million barrels. Distillate inventories fell by 3.693 million barrels after increasing by 548,000 barrels in the week prior.
Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, decreased by 1.035 million barrels—after falling 2.388 million barrels last week.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.