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Oil Prices Slammed After API Reports Surprise Build In Crude Inventories

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a surprise build of 1.779 million barrels in United States crude oil inventories, compared to S&P Global Platts survey of analysts who expected a draw of 2.8 million barrels for the week ending July 21. This week’s build comes after a major draw last week.

Gasoline inventories fell this week, more sharply than expected, with a 4.827-million-barrel draw for the week ending July 28, compared to analyst expectations that inventories for the fuel would fall by 1.3 million barrels.

Crude prices began to slip on Tuesday despite the expectations of another draw in crude oil stockpiles this week, as reports surfaced that OPEC’s crude oil exports rose 388,000 bpd in July, according to figures from energy data provider Kpler. Prices had increased on Monday on news that the United States might impose sanctions on Venezuelan oil—but that possibility is now looking more remote.

At 12:24pm, WTI had fallen 3.05% to $48.64, with Brent Crude down 2.94% at $51.17. per barrel. WTI had opened above $50 on Tuesday for the first time since May.

Gasoline was also trading down on the day before the data release, by 1.94% at $1.644.

Crude oil inventories in the US began its downward slide in early April, and have continued to fall, erasing all of the inventory that was built between January and April. According to the API, today’s build brings the total inventory for crude oil in 2017 to a net draw of 5.755 million barrels.

Related: This Oil Price Rally Has Reached Its Limit

(Click to enlarge)

Distillate inventories also fell this week, by 1.225 million barrels, while inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site increased by 2.562 million barrels.

By 4:39pm EST, WTI was trading at $49.15 with Brent Crude trading at $51.75.

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

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • John on August 02 2017 said:
    Slammed, huh?
  • jack ma on August 01 2017 said:
    Oil prices slammed? Hold back on the drama just a bit maybe. Oil dropped a buck and change and the build was what ....like one hour maybe of the world oil burn rate. LOL. Keep it real...
  • Rational Man on August 01 2017 said:
    OPEC = Organization of Petroleum Exporting CLOWNS. Not expecting them to get their act together any time soon, nor is any rational investor. Thanks clowns for keeping the gas cheap at the pump!

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