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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a small build of 519,000 barrels in United States crude oil inventories, while an S&P Platts’ survey of analysts expected inventories would draw down by 425,000 barrels for the week ending October 20.
Gasoline inventories, according to the API, saw a huge draw of 5.753 million barrels for the week ending October 20, against a smaller expected draw of 2.3 million barrels.
Both WTI and Brent benchmarks were up on lingering concerns that the US/Iran standoff could disrupt oil supplies, along with disruptions to oil production in Iraq as the referendum continues to pit Turkey, Iran, and Iraq governments against the Iraqi Kurds—a volatile situation that has the potential to spark a civil war.
But prices started to slip on Tuesday as reality set in as robust supply capacity from OPEC and US shale loomed large in skittish investor minds.
The WTI benchmark was up 1.04 percent on the day to $52.44 at 12:10 pm EST, while Brent was trading up 1.13 percent on the day at $57.92. While WTI was up week on week, Brent was down slightly from last week. Gasoline was trading up 0.99 percent on Tuesday at $1.62.
For the US, the total drawdown of crude oil in 2017 now stands at 30.1 million barrels, according to API data, although prices for now are still stuck in the low 50s.
Distillate inventories also saw a sharp decline this week, down 4.949 million barrels. Analysts had expected a drop of 2.05 million barrels.
Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site decreased by a small 55,000 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.
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.