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The American Petroleum Institute (API) estimated that there was a surprise build this week for crude oil of 3.754 million barrels, compared to analyst predictions of a 1.867 million barrels draw.
U.S. crude inventories have shed some 73 million barrels since the start of 2021 and about 16 million barrels since the start of 2020.
In the week prior, the API reported a build in crude oil inventories of 2.811 million barrels after analysts had predicted a draw of 833,000 barrels.
Oil prices were trading down sharply on Tuesday—continuing Monday's selloff—as speculators abandoned the highly speculative oil trade and China locked down millions of its residents in some of its largest cities in what could be a huge hit to oil demand.
WTI was trading down 6.37% at $96.45 per barrel on the day at 2:00 p.m. EST—down $24 per barrel on the week. Brent crude was trading down 6.36% on the day at $100.10 per barrel on the day—down roughly $27 per barrel on the week.
U.S. crude oil production has remained stubbornly stagnate for five weeks in a row, at 11.6 million bpd for week ending March 4. This is down 1.5 million bpd from the pre-pandemic era.
This week, the API reported a draw in gasoline inventories at 3.794 million barrels for the week ending March 11—after the previous week's 1.988-million-barrel draw.
Distillate stocks saw an increase in inventory of 888,000 million barrels for the week, after last week's 5.485-million barrel decrease. Cushing saw a 2.308 million-barrel increase this week. Cushing inventories declined to 22.2 million barrels as of March 4, declining—down from 59.2 million barrels at the start of 2021, and down from 37.3 million barrels at the end of 2021.
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.