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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported an inventory draw in crude oil.
This week, the API estimated the inventory draw for crude oil to be 747,000 barrels.
U.S. crude inventories have shed some 57 million barrels since the beginning of the year.
Analyst expectations for the week were for a larger draw of 1.667-million barrels for the week.
In the previous week, the API reported a build in oil inventories of 2.307 million barrels, compared to the 950,000-barrel draw that analysts had predicted.
Oil prices had been trading down sharply on Tuesday in the run-up to the data release on fresh fears that the new omicron covid variant would once again dent oil demand.
By 3:00 p.m. EST WTI had fallen more than 5% to $66.28—a more than $11 per barrel drop since this time last week. Brent was trading down nearly 4% at $70.57 per barrel, nearly $12 lower on the week.
Overall in November, oil prices are on track for a 20% loss.
U.S. oil production for the week ending November 19—the last week for which the Energy Information Administration has provided data—rose by 100,000 bpd to 11.5 million bpd. November's crashing prices will do little to encourage the U.S. oil industry to increase investments to return production to the 13.1 million bpd prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The API reported a build in gasoline inventories of 2.2 million barrels for the week ending November 26—after the previous week's 600,000-barrel build.
Distillate stocks saw an increase in inventory of 800,000 barrels for the week, after last week's 1.5-million-barrel decrease. Cushing saw a million-barrel increase this week.
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.