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U.S. Crude Oil Inventories See Bigger Dip Than Expected

Crude oil inventories in the United States decreased this week by 1.246 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute (API) data showed on Wednesday.Analysts were expecting a smaller 433,000-barrel draw in U.S. crude-oil inventories. The total number of barrels of crude oil gained so far this year is more than 38 million barrels, 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 1.7 million barrels of crude in the week ending June 16 from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), for the 12th consecutive weekly drop in the stockpile to a 40-year low of 350 million barrels.

The price of WTI and Brent were both trading up on Wednesday in the run-up to the data release—although prices are fairly flat compared to a month ago. At 2:20 pm ET, WTI was trading up $1.33 (+1.87%) on the day at $72.52 per barrel. The Brent crude oil benchmark was trading up $1.19 (1.57%) at $77.09 per barrel.

By 4:33 p.m. EST, WTI was trading up 1.94%, at $72.57 per barrel, while Brent crude was trading up 1.62% at $77.13 shortly after the data release—several dollars over last week's prices.

Gasoline inventories rose 2.935 million barrels, after adding 2.075 million barrels in the week prior. Distillate inventories fell by 301,000 barrels after rising 1.394 million barrels in the week prior.

Crude oil production in the United States stayed the same at 12.4 million bpd for the week ending June 9, according to EIA data.Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 50,000 barrels, after rising 1.502 million barrels in the previous week.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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