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The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a draw in crude oil inventories of 879,000 barrels for the week ending July 30, bringing the total 2021 crude draw so far to nearly 55 million barrels, using API data.
Analysts had expected a loss of 2.900 million barrels for the week.
In the previous week, the API reported a draw in oil inventories of 4.728 million barrels largely in line with the anticipated draw that week of 3.433 million barrels.
The price of a WTI barrel had fallen earlier on Tuesday on renewed fears of the Delta variant, particularly in China, where all 12 million Wuhan residents will be tested for Covid-19. China is now experiencing the widest-spread outbreak since the virus first emerged, even managing to infiltrate areas that have been virus-free for months.
WTI slipped 1.05% on Tuesday afternoon in the runup to the data release on those fears.
At 2:34 p.m. EST, WTI was trading at $70.51—a $1 loss from this time last week. Brent crude was trading down 0.67% for the day at $72.40—down nearly $2 per barrel week on week.
While U.S. crude oil stocks—and prices—are on a downward spiral, U.S. oil production has remained on a fairly even keel that has risen from 11 million bpd at the start of the year to 11.2 million bpd this week—although that 11.2 million bpd production rate is 200,000 bpd lower than the previous week.
The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories of 5.751 million barrels for the week ending July 30—compared to the previous week's 6.226-million-barrel draw.
Distillate stocks saw a decrease in inventories this week of 717,000 barrels for the week, on top of last week's 1.882-million-barrel decrease.
Cushing inventories rose this week by 659,000 barrels, compared to last week’s 126,000-barrel decrease.
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.