Surprise Crude Build Disappoints Oil Bulls

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By Julianne Geiger

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has estimated a crude oil inventory build of 3.639 million barrels for the week ending November 21, compared to analyst expectations of a 418,000-barrel draw in inventory.

Last week saw a build in crude oil inventories of 5.954 million barrels, according to API data. The EIA’s estimates, however, reported a build of 1.4-million barrels for that week.

After today’s inventory move, the net draw has swung into build territory for the year, standing at 830,000 barrels for the 48-week reporting period so far, using API data.

Oil prices were trading up on Tuesday prior to the data release on trade talk hopes for China and the United States surfaced again on Tuesday, with negotiators for both sides conversing today by phone. Still, no tangible progress has been made.

At 2:48pm EST, WTI was trading up $0.24 (+0.41%) at $58.28—roughly $2.50 per barrel above last week’s prices. Brent was trading up $0.36 (+0.57%) at $62.98, up almost $2 a barrel from last week.

The API this week reported a build of 4.378 million barrels of gasoline for week ending November 21, compared to analyst expectations of a smaller build in gasoline inventories of 1.222-million barrels for the week.

Distillate inventories saw a draw of 665,000 barrels for the week, while Cushing inventories fell by 516,000 barrels.

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending November 15 stayed at the most recent high of 12.8 million bpd for a second week in a row.

At 4:42pm EDT, WTI was trading at $58.36, while Brent was trading at $63.14.

Crude Oil

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