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Oil Rallies Despite Large Crude Build

The American Petroleum Institute (API) estimated on Tuesday a large crude oil inventory build of 6.407 million barrels for the week ending March 6, compared to analyst expectations of a 1.848-million-barrel build in inventory, but the shaky oil market seems to be taking it in stride.

In the previous week, the API estimated a smaller than expected build in crude oil inventories of 1.7-million barrels, while the EIA’s estimates were more bullish, reporting a smaller build of 800,000 barrels for the week.

Oil prices were trading up on Tuesday in the hours leading up to the data release after Monday’s 30% price slump after Saudi Arabia waged a full-on oil price war following Russia’s pullout of the deal to cut more production with OPEC+ members.  

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At 1:33 pm EDT on Tuesday the WTI benchmark was trading up on the day by $2.74 (+8.80%) at $33.87—but still down more than $14 per barrel week on week. The price of a Brent barrel was also trading up on Tuesday, by $2.90 (+8.44%), at $37.26—down by roughly $15 week on week.

The API reported a draw of 3.09 million barrels of gasoline for week ending March 6, after last week’s 3.9-million-barrel draw. This week’s draw compares to analyst expectations for a 2.686-million-barrel draw for the week.

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Distillate inventories were down by 4.679 million barrels for the week, compared to last week’s 1.7-million-barrel draw, while Cushing inventories rose by 364,000 barrels.

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US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending February 28 rose again to a new all-time high of 13.1 million bpd.

At 4:41 pm EDT, WTI was trading at $34.65, while Brent was trading at $37.89.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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