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Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories

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.

The WTI benchmark was down 2.56 percent on the day to $55.31 at 4:17pm EST—almost $2.00 per barrel under last week’s levels. Brent was trading down 2.26 percent on the day at $61.73

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.

Related: The War That Would Transform Oil Markets

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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  • RMB on November 15 2017 said:
    The IEA report sheds light on independent reality instead of Cartel misinformation. While the Saudis want to world oil supply to be in balance, they fail to report that US production is seizing the OPEC market share! GO Shale!
  • zorro6204 on November 14 2017 said:
    Given that we're a net importer, and given the large amounts we now export, I don't see why anyone pays attention to US inventories at all. Production is all that matters.
  • Baxter on November 14 2017 said:
    After the Bloomberg IEA report a bunch of short positions popped up on the radar. One last hurra before $100 bbl.

    Negative reports out weigh positive reports 5 to 1. A desperate push to reverse oil.
  • manny on November 14 2017 said:
    look for a bounce in prices tomorrow...API is a farce
  • Jason Townsend on November 14 2017 said:
    Sounds about right to me. The oil fairy came by and dropped off a big load.

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