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Oil Stabilizes After API Reports Lower Than Expected Build In Crude Stocks

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is reporting a 1.4-million-build in US crude oil inventory over last week—bursting the bubble created the week before when official data showed the biggest draw on inventory in a century.

Still, the build is much lower than expectations of a 4-million-barrel build, in part because the release of shut-in oil following a Gulf of Mexico hurricane.

At Cushing, crude oil inventories were down 1.12 million barrels, more than expectations.

Gasoline stocks were also down 2.4 million barrels, against expectations of a 1.1-million-barrel draw.

For distillates, the picture was gloomier, with the biggest build in eight months, up 5.3 million barrels.

Tomorrow at 10:30am EST, the EIA will release the official figures, and all eyes will be watching to see if the API’s data holds. In the meantime, the market remains highly volatile.

The EIA’s latest report had US commercial crude oil inventories down by 14.5 million barrels during the week ended 2 September. This was some 2.5 million more than the API had predicted the day prior, so analysts will be watching tomorrow’s figures closely.

Last week’s EIA data also showed the API reporting gasoline draw numbers lower than the official figures. On 7 September, the API reported a 2.388-million-barrel draw on gasoline stocks, while the EIA came back with a 4.2-million-barrel draw.

Shortly after the API figures were released today at 4:30PM EST, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down 2.23 percent at US$45.26. Brent crude was down 1.92 percent, at US$47.39.

By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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