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U.S. Crude Oil, Gasoline Inventories Boom

Crude oil inventories in the United States rose this week, by 7.168 million barrels for the week ending February 16, according to The American Petroleum Institute (API), after analysts predicted a build of 4.298 million barrels. The API reported an 8.52-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 0.7 million barrels as of February 16. Inventories are now at 359.5 million barrels—the highest level since May 2023.

Oil prices were up ahead of the API data release as traders anticipated that U.S. refineries would soon begin to ramp up after seasonal maintenance and help draw down crude inventories. Additional pricing support continues to come from tensions in Russia and the Middle East.

At 2:50 pm ET, Brent crude was trading up 0.75% on the day at $82.96, up just $0.30 per barrel compared to last Tuesday. The U.S. benchmark WTI was trading up on the day by 1.05% at $77.85, up just $0.10 per barrel compared to last Tuesday.

Gasoline inventories saw a build this week, adding 415,000 barrels, compared to the large 7.23 million barrels drawdown 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 fell this week, by 2.908 million barrels, on top of last week’s 4.016 million barrels drop in the week prior. Distillates were already 7% below the five-year average for the week ending February 9, the latest EIA data shows.

Cushing inventories rose again this week, by 668,000 barrels after rising by 512,000 barrels in the previous week.

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By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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