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U.S. Oil Inventories Rise Beyond Expectations

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported an extensive build in crude oil inventories of 4.319 million barrels for the week ending April 23.

Analysts had predicted a much smaller build of 659,000 barrels for the week.

In the previous week, the API reported a build in oil inventories of 436,000 barrels after analysts had predicted a draw of 2.860-million barrels.

Enbridge tanks at main Cushing area as of April 16.

Oil prices were trading up on the day prior to the data release despite the coronavirus surge in the world’s third-largest oil importer, India, after OPEC’s JTC meeting resulted in a cancellation of the regular ministerial meeting that was to be held on Wednesday, with a recommendation for no changes to the May production quota for the group.  

At 2:42 p.m. EDT, WTI traded at $62.87, or 1.55% up on the day and roughly $.50 higher per barrel than this time last week. Brent crude traded up at $66.39 per barrel or 1.13% up on the day.

While crude oil inventories rose substantially this week, U.S. oil production held steady at 11.0 million bpd on average for the week ending April 16, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration.

The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories of 1.288 million barrels for the week ending April 23—after the previous week's 1.617 million barrel draw. Analysts had expected a 508,000 barrel build for the week.

Distillate stocks saw a decrease in inventories this week of 2.417 million barrels for the week, after last week's 655,000-barrel increase.

Cushing inventory figures rose by 742,000 barrels.

Post data release, at 4:33 p.m. EDT, the WTI benchmark was trading at $63.24 while Brent crude was trading at $66.75 per barrel.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on April 28 2021 said:
    Without fail, the minute crude oil prices start to rise, either the American Petroleum Institute (API) or the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) or both announce a build in crude oil or product inventories aimed at depressing prices. This pattern has become so regular that even with the best will in the world one can only reach the conclusion that it is a manipulation of the oil prices.

    Moreover, the global oil market is starting to see through this ploy, hence prices’ lack of response to these ploys.

    Furthermore, the hapless analysts have never once got it right in their projections of the size of a build or a draw in crude oil and products inventories.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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