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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a shocking build of 6.513 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories, against a Wall Street Journal analyst expectation that inventories would draw down by 1.4 million barrels for the week ending November 10. Three polled analysts expected a rise, and eight expected them to fall. The spread of the forecasts was wide, ranging from a draw of 3.5 million barrels to a build of 2.5 million barrels—significantly short of the massive build the API reported.
Gasoline inventories, according to the API, also saw a build this week, of 2.399 million barrels for the week ending November 10, against an expectation of a draw of 1.1 million barrels. The range of analyst expectations is from a 3-million-barrel decline to a 2-million-barrel build.
Both WTI and Brent benchmarks were down significantly on Tuesday prior to the API release—almost $2 per barrel under last week figures, as bearish news from the IEA emerged that suggested the oil market isn’t quite as healthy as some may believe. The IEA revised downward its forecast for oil demand in 2017 by 50,000 bpd and in 2018 by 190,000 bpd.
Crude oil inventories have shed a total of 30.2 million barrels since the start of 2017, according to API data.
Gasoline was trading down as well, -2.15 percent at $1.74.
Distillate inventories saw a decline this week, down 2.527 million barrels. Analysts had expected a drop of 500,000 barrels.
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Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site decreased by 1.803 barrels this week.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on oil inventories is due to be released on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT.
WTI was trading relatively unchanged moments after the data release at $55.30 at 4:37pm EST, with Brent crude trading at $61.74.
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.