Large Gasoline, Distillates Build Suppresses Oil Prices

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By Julianne Geiger

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a crude oil inventory draw of 4.5 million barrels for the week ending December 28, compared to analyst expectations that we would see a draw in crude oil inventories of 2.333 million barrels.

Last week, the API reported a surprise crude build of more than 6 million barrels. A day later, the EIA showed that inventories had remained virtually unchanged from the previous week.

Leading up to today’s data release from the API, which is on a two-day delay due to the New Year holiday, crude oil prices ticked marginally upward, with WTI and Brent trading flat week on week.

At 12:03pm EST on Thursday, WTI was trading up on the day $0.20 (+0.43%) per barrel at $46.74. Brent crude was trading up $0.46 (+0.84%) at $55.37. The slight upward movement for oil prices on Thursday was largely due to Wednesday reports that Saudi Arabia’s oil exports for December had dropped off significantly.

Inventories in the Cushing, Oklahoma facility this week climbed by 483,000 barrels.

The API reported a large build in gasoline inventories for week ending December 28 in the amount of 8.0 million barrels. Analysts had predicted a much smaller build of 2.267 million barrels for the week.

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending December 21 climbed to 11.7 million bpd for the week.

Distillate inventories increased this week by 4.0 million barrels, compared to an expected build of 2.567 million barrels.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on crude oil inventories is due to be released on Friday at 11:00a.m. EST due to the New Year holiday.

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