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What’s Behind Oil’s Slow Flash Crash?

What’s Behind Oil’s Slow Flash Crash?

The 40 percent decline in…

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 Slips After API Gasoline Inventory Build, Minor Crude Draw

Gas storage

This week’s American Petroleum Institute (API) report shows a 2.68 million barrel gasoline build – largely surpassing estimates of a modest 900,000-barrel increase in inventories.

Before the release, experts had predicted that crude oil supplies in the United States would jump by one million barrels this week, after multiple inventory builds in previous weeks. However, the new figures peg inventories at 1.28 million barrels less than last week’s figures as reported by the EIA.

The Cushing, Oklahoma facility saw a 140,000-barrel decrease in crude levels – just 40,000 barrels off than the predicted 100,000-barrel draw.

After seeing the first build in seven weeks in the previous report, distillate supplies took a 350,000-barrel dive once again.

Oil prices have fluctuated all day due to speculation regarding the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ coming output freeze on the back of a flurry of comments from OPEC delegates.

An existing contango – which occurs when the price spread between the near future and the distant future reaches a significant disparity – between one month and two month oil price outcomes is causing large amounts of the commodity to be stored away by middle-men traders.

Last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a crude oil inventory increase of 5.3 million barrels for the week to November 11, to a total of 490.3 million barrels – magnifying a 3.65 million barrel build anticipation reported by the API the day before.

This week’s API report will also be either validated or discredited by tomorrow’s release of official EIA data.

At the time of the article’s writing, West Texas Intermediate prices stood 0.70 percent lower at $47.92 while Brent prices rose 0.43 percent to $49.11.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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