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Surprise Build In Crude Oil Inventories Weigh On Prices

Crude oil inventories in the United States rose this week by 483,000 barrels for the week ending January 12, according to The American Petroleum Institute (API), after analysts predicted a draw of 2.4 million barrels. The API reported a 5.215-million-barrel draw in crude inventories in the week prior.

On Tuesday, the Department of Energy (DoE) reported that crude oil inventories in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) rose by 0.6 million barrels again this week. Inventories are now at 355.6 million barrels.

Oil prices were mixed ahead of the API data release. At 4:20 pm ET, Brent crude was trading down 0.26% at $78.09—but up $0.67 per barrel compared to where it was this same time last week. The U.S. benchmark WTI was trading up on the day by 0.59% at $72.83, up $0.76 per barrel compared to this time last week.

Gasoline inventories saw another large build this week, rising by 4.86 million barrels after rising by 4.896 million barrels in the week prior. As of last week, gasoline inventories are now about 1% above the five-year average for this time of year, according to EIA data.

Distillate inventories also rose this week, by 5.21 million barrels, after rising by 6.873 million barrels in the week prior. Distillates are roughly 4% below the five-year average.

Cushing inventories fell by 1.98 million barrels after falling by 625,000 barrels in the previous week.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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