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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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Oil Reacts Stoically As API Reports Biggest Cushing Inventory Build Since 2008

Cushing storage

This week’s American Petroleum Institution (API) report showed the second consecutive week of crude inventory draws that exceeded expert predictions.

The report estimates a 2.21 million barrel drop in inventories, as opposed to the 1.37 million barrel decline expected by industry insiders.

Meanwhile, the API estimates that supplies at the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage facility have risen by a massive 4.01 million barrels, as opposed to the 2.87 million unit rise that was forecasted—the largest build at the Cushing facility since 2008.

There was instant reaction for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices that brought barrel prices up roughly 10 cents after the report was released, but within 45 minutes, prices had dipped $0.88 from its opening mark, likely focused on the colossal Cushing inventory increase.

This week’s API report also showed that distillates also grew by a hefty 4.08 million barrels, surpassing the more conservative expectation of a 1.24-million-barrel build.

Last week, the API report came in just one day before the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) official meeting in Vienna – where the cartel’s members finalized the terms of a freeze deal to reduce the supply glut tanking oil prices. That report showed the largest build in Cushing since March 2015, along with a small draw in U.S. crude oil inventories.

The Energy Information Administration report from Wednesday last week reported an anticlimactic 900,000-barrel decline in U.S. commercial crude inventories, bringing the total to 488.1 million barrels, within the average for this time of year, though close to the upper limit.

The volatile response in the oil price market may be a sign that the industry is not completely satisfied with the OPEC deal, or with its pending negotiations with certain non-OPEC members later this week.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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  • Petrohunter on December 07 2016 said:
    "The volatile response in the oil price market may be a sign that the industry is not completely satisfied with the OPEC deal..." I'm pretty sure "the industry" is fine with it...it's the Wall Street Wizards (speculators & traders) that set the price of the commodity that we work so hard to produce that may be unsatisfied with the profits they make on the "sweat of our labor". We take the risks, spend the money and do the work and "they" manipulate the price...hmmm...I swear, in my next life, I'm coming back as a baker...at least I can set the price of my doughnuts!
  • Fisher on December 06 2016 said:
    fuel oil (distillate) build up in winter is normal, in addition Cushing oil including lots renting oil (in short's hand), so who know whether it is empty or filled. Whatever, you always BULLY oil long, so you are bias, not a professional journalist, who should be honest and never trying to luring audience or readers by only telling or emphasizing partial truth. Whatever, whole oil inventory fall, this is the truth, you cannot ignore.
  • t party on December 06 2016 said:
    @mark The overall crude levels dropped but there was a rise at the Cushing facility. If you ask me it is the overall number that matters.
  • Mark on December 06 2016 said:
    I'm confused...did it drop or rise?
  • Jack Ma on December 06 2016 said:
    It's paper oil not real barrels. It's total hog-wash lies to keep oil prices down. BTW did you go there and count the barrels or are you taking someone's word on it? Great writing of yours but in this particular case, the numbers are fake. Will this effect the decision to raise interest rates 25 basis points? How does this effect GS - the largest front-runner of oil short positions in the world? How will you play this? So many questions so little time. IMHO

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