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Surprise Crude Build Weighs on Oil

Crude oil inventories in the United States rose this week, by 8.428 million barrels for the week ending February 23, according to The American Petroleum Institute (API). The API reported a 7.168-million-barrel rise 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 0.8 million barrels as of February 23. Inventories are now at 360.3 million barrels—the highest level since May 2023.

Oil prices were up ahead of the API data release on reports from anonymous OPEC+ sources that the group could extend their voluntary production cuts into next quarter—adding that they could keep them in place through the end of the year.  

At 4:25 pm ET, Brent crude was trading up 1.04% on the day at $83.39, up just $1 per barrel compared to this time last week. The U.S. benchmark WTI was trading up on the day by 1.35% at $78.63, up nearly $1 per barrel compared to last Tuesday.

Gasoline inventories fell this week by 3.272 million barrels, compared to the small 415,000 barrel build in the week prior. As of last week, gasoline inventories were about 2% below the five-year average for this time of year, according to the latest EIA data.

Distillate inventories also fell this week, by 523,000 barrels, on top of last week’s 2.908 million barrels drop. Distillates were already 10% below the five-year average for the week ending February 16, the latest EIA data shows.

Cushing inventories rose again this week, by 1.825 million barrels after rising by 668,000 barrels in the previous week.

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By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com 

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on February 27 2024 said:
    The minute crude oil prices start to rise, either the API or the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) or both announce a build in oil inventories. Such announcements, their timing and repetitiveness can't be coincidental. That is why they lost all their credibility.

    They are part and parcel of US manipulation of the global oil market in order to depress oil prices for the benefit of the US economy and the refilling of the SPR.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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