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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.
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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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.