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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday a draw in crude oil inventories of 4.524 million barrels for the week ending August 21.
Analysts had predicted an inventory draw of 3.694-million barrels.
In the previous week, the API reported a draw in crude oil inventories of 4.264 million barrels, after analysts had predicted a draw of 2.670 million barrels.
Oil prices were trading up on Tuesday afternoon before the API’s data release, and at 2:51 pm EDT, WTI had risen by $0.77 (+1.81%) to $43.39—about $1 over last week’s levels. The Brent crude benchmark had risen by $0.82 (+1.82%) to $45.95, just under a $1 rise.
Oil prices have failed to gain any real traction over the past month, even with OPEC’s historic production cut and production declines in the United States, on the back of grim forecasts of subdued future oil demand in the coming months.
Oil production declines in the United States held steady this week, still down from a high of 13.1 million bpd on March 13. U.S. oil production currently sits at 10.7 million bpd as of August 14, according to the Energy Information Administration—a 2.4 million bpd loss that lends aid to OPEC’s efforts to curb production to regain market balance.
The API reported a large draw in gasoline inventories too, of 6.392 million barrels of gasoline for the week ending August 21—compared to last week’s 41-million-barrel build. Analysts had expected a much smaller 1.533-million-barrel draw for the week.
Distillate inventories were up by 2.259 million barrels for the week, compared to last week’s 964,000-barrel draw, while Cushing inventory fell by 646,000 barrels.
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.