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U.S. Crude Oil Inventories Drop Amid Oil Price Slide

Crude oil inventories in the United States decreased this week by 2.408 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute (API) data showed on Tuesday, after falling by 1.246 million barrels in the week prior.

Analysts were expecting a smaller 1.467-million-barrel draw in U.S. crude-oil inventories. The total number of barrels of crude oil gained so far this year is nearly 36 million barrels according to API data, although the net draw in crude inventories since April is more than 8 million barrels.

On Monday, the Department of Energy (DoE) reported that it sold another 1.4 million barrels of crude in the week ending June 23 from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), for the 13th consecutive weekly drop in the stockpile to a 40-year low of 348.6 million barrels.

The price of WTI and Brent were both trading up on Tuesday in the run-up to the data release—although prices are fairly flat compared to a month ago. At 4:09 pm ET, WTI was trading down $1.71 (-2.47%) on the day at $67.66 per barrel—a $5 per barrel dip on the week. The Brent crude oil benchmark was trading down $1.92 (-2.59%) at $72.26 per barrel.

By 4:39 p.m. EST, WTI was trading down 2.29%, at $67.78 per barrel, while Brent crude was trading down 1.622.40% at $72.40 shortly after the data release.

Gasoline inventories fell by 2.85 million barrels, undoing the 2.935 million barrel build in the week prior. Distillate inventories rose by 777,000 barrels, more than offsetting the 301,000 barrel loss in the week prior.

Crude oil production in the United States fell back to 12.2 million bpd for the week ending June 16, according to EIA data, matching the previous low for this year.

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Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 1.45 million barrels, after rising 50,000 barrels in the previous week.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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