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Oil Prices Slip On Surprise Inventory Build

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday a build in crude oil inventories of 1.026 million barrels for the week ending February 19.

Analysts had predicted an inventory draw of 5.190 million barrels for the week.

In the previous week, the API reported a draw in oil inventories of 5.8-million barrels after analysts had predicted a draw of 2.429-million barrels.

Oil prices were trading up on Tuesday ahead of the data release as oil supplies tighten from oil and gas shutdowns in the United States courtesy of the Texas Freeze.

At 3:28 p.m. EDT, before Tuesday's data release, WTI had risen by $0.33 on the day (+0.53%) to $62.03—almost a $1 increase over this time last week.

The Brent crude benchmark had risen on the day $0.52 at that time (+0.82%) to $65.83—up more than $1 on the week.

U.S. oil production fell 200,000 barrels per day to 10.8 million bpd, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The API reported a small build in gasoline inventories of 66,000 barrels for the week ending February 19—after the previous week's 3.9-million-barrel build. Analysts had expected a 3.062-million-barrel draw for the week.

Distillate stocks saw a decrease of 4.489 million barrels for the week, after last week's 3.5-million-barrel decrease.

Cushing inventories rose by 2.783 million barrels. Last week, inventories held in Cushing decreased by 3.0 million barrels.

Magellan tanks at Cushing

Post data release, at 4:34 p.m. EDT, the WTI benchmark was trading at $61.91, while Brent crude was trading at $65.71.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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