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Oil Prices Up As API Reports Massive Crude Draw

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has estimated a large crude oil inventory draw of 7.9 million barrels for the week ending December 18, compared to analyst expectations of a much smaller 1.833-million-barrel draw in inventory.

Last week saw a build in crude oil inventories of 4.7 million barrels, according to API data. The EIA’s estimates reported a draw of 1.1 million barrels for that week.

After today’s reported inventory move, the net inventory moves so far this year—almost the end of the year--stand at a build of 3.22 million barrels for the last 51-weeks, using API data.

Oil prices had been up on the day prior to the data release. WTI was trading up over 1% on Tuesday. At 4:10 pm EST, WTI was trading up $0.62 (1.02%) at $61.14—roughly $0.25 per barrel above than last week’s levels. The price of a Brent barrel was also trading up, by $0.74 (+1.13%) at that time, at $66.16–flat from last week’s prices.  

The API this week also reported a build of 566,000 barrels of gasoline for week ending December 18, compared to analyst expectations of a larger build in gasoline inventories of 1.959-million barrels for the week.

Distillate inventories saw a build of 1.68 million barrels for the week, while Cushing inventories fell by a sizable 2.2 million barrels.

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending December 13 stayed at 12.8 million bpd off the all-time high of 12.9 million bpd..

At 5:03 pm EDT, WTI was trading at $61.14, while Brent was trading at $66.16.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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