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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a crude oil inventory build of 3.453 million barrels for the week ending November 23, compared to analyst expectations that we would see a much more modest build in crude oil inventories of 769,000 barrels
Last week, the API reported a draw, in what was the first draw after six weeks of straight builds as reported by the API. A day later, the EIA had an alternate version of crude oil inventories, reporting a build instead of 4.9 million barrels. Using EIA’s figures, this would make the tenth straight week of inventory builds for crude oil.
These weeks and weeks of inventory builds, combined with fears of diminishing demand and Washington’s waivers for eight countries to continue oil purchases from Iran for 180 days have combined to push prices ever lower.
Inventories in the Cushing, Oklahoma facility this week had climbed by 1.302 million barrels.
Prices rose slightly on Tuesday prior to the data release as optimism grew that OPEC will indeed cut production once again after its December meeting, possibly by as much as 1 million or 1.5 million bpd.
At 3:34 pm EST, WTI was trading up 0.12% (+$0.06) at $51.69—still down for the week. The Brent crude benchmark was trading up 0.08% (+$0.05) at $60.61, also down week on week.
Related: Legendary Oil Trader Expects Crude Prices To Rebound
The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories for week ending November 23 in the amount of 2.620 million barrels. Analysts had predicted a build of 640,000 barrels for the week.
U.S. crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration was also bearish in nature, showing that production for the week ending November 16 stood 11.7 million bpd for a second week in a row.
Distillate inventories were up this week by 1.185 million barrels, compared to an expected draw of 857,000 bpd.
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 for the day at $51.90 and Brent was trading up at $60.77.
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.