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Oil Prices Under Pressure As Gasoline Inventories Climb

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday a draw in crude oil inventories of 831,000 barrels for the week ending September 25 - but this draw was more than offset by a build in gasoline inventories.

Analysts had predicted an inventory draw of 2.325-million barrels.

In the previous week, the API reported a small build in crude oil inventories of 691,000 barrels, after analysts had predicted a draw of 2.256 million barrels.

Oil prices were trading down sharply on Tuesday afternoon before the API’s data release as the market continues to be spooked by the rising number of coronavirus cases around the world - a factor that could lead to decreased movements and industrial activity around the world, and ultimately, to decreased oil demand.

In the hours leading up to Tuesday’s data release, at 12:44 pm EDT, WTI had fallen by $2.00 (-4.93%) to $38.60, down $1 per barrel on the week. The Brent crude benchmark had fallen by $1.82 at that time (-4.29%) to $40.61.

Oil production in the United States fell during the last week, and it is still down significantly from a high of 13.1 million bpd on March 13. U.S. oil production currently sits at 10.7 million bpd, according to the Energy Information Administration - 2.4 million bpd under those March highs.

Related: Russia Calls For A Global Response To The Oil Demand Crisis

The API reported a build in gasoline inventories of 1.623 million barrels of gasoline for the week ending September 25 - compared to the previous week’s 7.735-million-barrel draw. Analysts had expected a much smaller 648,000-barrel draw for the week.

Distillate inventories were down by 3.424 million barrels for the week, compared to last week’s 2.104-million-barrel draw, while Cushing inventories rose by 1.610 million barrels.

At 4:36 pm EDT, the WTI benchmark was trading at $38.99 while Brent crude was trading at $40.76.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • George Doolittle on September 29 2020 said:
    Huge gasoline builds are normative for this time of Year (end of ahem "driving Season" ahem).
  • D. Rueb on September 29 2020 said:
    I have noticed that when the EIA or API report comes out the bullish data is never highlighted. Its always the bearish like gasoline inventory rising, instead of crude draws. Not all the time but overwhelmingly appears to be pushing negative news. The API crude draw was bullish, but the main headline on Oil Price is the negative gasoline build. I see this bias weekly. In fact, there has not even been an article highlighting that gasoline inventories in the USA are actually below pre-covid, last year levels. That's right, less gasoline in storage than last year. And yet for some reason your site pushes the gasoline number as if things are all bad.

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