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Surprise Crude Oil Inventory Build Sends Prices Lower

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a crude oil inventory build of 5.59 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending July 28, compared to analyst expectations that this week would see a draw in crude oil inventories of 2.794 million barrels.

Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a draw of 3.16 million barrels of crude oil.

The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories for week ending July 28 in the amount of 791,000 barrels. Analysts predicted a draw of 1.288 million barrels.

Oil prices were trading down significantly on Tuesday prior to the release of the API data on inventories, with WTI trading down 1.90% (-$1.33) at $68.80 per barrel, with Brent crude trading down 1.75% (-$1.32) at $74.23 per barrel as a Reuters survey on Monday showed that OPEC’s oil production hit a 2018 high in July—70,000 bpd more in July over June.

The WTI benchmark was trading nearly flat week over week, with the Brent benchmark trading up about $1.00 per barrel from this time last week.

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration hit a new high last week, finally hitting the 11 million bpd mark for the week ending July 20. US production had stagnated for multiple weeks at 10.9 million bpd in prior weeks, based on weekly estimates provided by the EIA.

Related: The Oil And Gas Boom Sends U.S. GDP Soaring

Distillate inventories were also up this week—by 2.89 million barrels, compared to an expected build of 264,000 barrels. Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma site decreased this week by 930,000 barrels.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on crude oil inventories is due to be released on Wednesday at 10:30a.m. EDT.

By 4:43pm EDT, WTI was trading at $68.76 and Brent was trading at $74.25.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • John Brown on August 01 2018 said:
    I guess the energy industry has a kinder heart that most other industries? Analysts making weekly forecasts as far off as this....-3 Million Barrels to +5.5, a miss of over 8 Million barrels & in the wrong direction would be out if Jobs pretty quickly in most other industries.
  • Jeremy on July 31 2018 said:
    Well I'm happy to see inventories didn't fall too much. Hopefully they begin to build up going towards Winter. It's a nice sign for demand with draining inventories, but it does pack a punch at the gas pump for your average Joe consumer. Also, wow, Distillate inventories have been draining mighty fast, hope this will even out or start to build up soon also. I guess diesel is in strong demand, along with jet fuel perhaps. Good sign demand wise for economic activity, but bad if it drains too much...higher heating fuel costs, plane tickets, diesel prices for trucks, etc not so hot for economy on the flip side. Hope Trump's Iran deal doesn't take too much oil off the market either, people won't be happy about that...means higher fuel costs! We'll see.

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