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Surprise Crude Build Sends WTI Prices Down

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a build in crude oil inventories of 584,000 barrels for the week ending October 16.

Analysts had predicted an inventory draw of 240,000 barrels.

In the previous week, the API reported a build in draw oil inventories of 5.421-million barrels, after analysts had predicted a draw of 2.835-million barrels.

Oil prices were trading up on Tuesday afternoon before the API’s data release, despite the depressed demand outlook hanging over the market.

In the runup to Tuesday’s data release, at 2:04 pm EDT, WTI had risen by $0.36 (+0.88%) to $41.19, up less than $0.10 per barrel on the week. The Brent crude benchmark had risen by $0.19 at that time (+0.45%) to $42.81.

Oil production in the United States rebounded last week but was still down from a high of 13.1 million bpd on March 13. U.S. oil production currently sits at 10.5 million bpd, according to the Energy Information Administration—2.6 million bpd under those March highs.

The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories of 1.622-million barrels of gasoline for the week ending October 16—compared to the previous week’s 1.513-million-barrel draw. Analysts had expected a 1.767-million-barrel draw for the week.

Distillate inventories were down by 5.983 million barrels for the week, compared to last week’s 3.930-million-barrel draw, while Cushing inventories rose by 1.174-million barrels.


At 4:34 pm EDT, the WTI benchmark was trading at $41.19 while Brent crude was trading at $42.81.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • George Doolittle on October 20 2020 said:
    Would appear "Big Oil" has already not just looked but seen beyond the imminent election.

    So much for the ahem "Tuesday DEADline" ahem Crazy Nancy. Now it's time to see what real DEAD LINE looks like given what's going on in and around the Caucuses at the moment.

    No shortage of want of volunteers in that War no doubt.

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