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Surprise Crude Build Pushes Oil Prices Down

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a build in crude oil inventories of 436,000 barrels for the week ending April 16.

Analysts had predicted a draw of 2.860 million barrels for the week.

In the previous week, the API reported a draw in oil inventories of 3.608 million barrels after analysts had predicted a draw of 2.889-million barrels.

Plains All American tanks at main Cushing area as of April 16.

Oil prices were trading down on the day prior to the data release on demand fears, sparked by a rise in the number of Covid-19 infections in one of the world’s largest oil importer, India. 

At 12:33 p.m. EDT, WTI traded at $62.29, or 1.72% lower on the day but more than $2 per barrel higher than this time last week. Brent crude traded down at $66.33 per barrel or 1.07% down on the day.

With crude oil inventories rising this week, U.S. oil production rebounded to 11.0 million bpd during the week ending April 9, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration. Even though the EIA’s prognosis is for a modest increase in U.S. production in May, oil production has hovered in a rather tight band since October of last year.

The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories of 1.617 million barrels for the week ending April 16—after the previous week's 5.565 million barrel build. Analysts had expected a 650,000 barrel build for the week.

Distillate stocks saw an increase in inventories this week of 655,000 barrels for the week, after last week's 3.006-million-barrel decrease.

Cushing inventory figures fell by 1.286 million barrels.

Post data release, at 4:37 p.m. EDT, the WTI benchmark was trading at $62.29, while Brent crude was trading at $66.33 per barrel.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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