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Oil Prices Fall After API Reports Huge Build In Gasoline Inventories

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a large draw of 5.481 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending December 1, while analysts had expected a drawdown of 3.507 million barrels. The draw may embolden oil bulls who were left wanting after the OPEC meeting failed to lift prices as many had hoped.

Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a surprise build of 1.821 million barrels of crude oil when analysts had expected a drawdown of 3.15 million barrels. A day later, however, the EIA reported a 3.4-million-barrel draw, more in line with analyst expectations.

Gasoline inventories, on the other hand, saw a massive build this week of 9.196 million barrels for the week ending December 1, compared to forecasts of a much smaller 1.145-million-barrel build.

This week’s unexpectedly large build in gasoline inventories is likely to put downward pressure on oil prices.

Oil prices were mixed heading into today’s data, with WTI down $.02 (-0.03%) at $57.45 at 12:06pm EST, and Brent crude up $0.14 (-0.22%) at $62.59—both benchmarks down from prices just two days before the OPEC meeting last week, despite OPEC’s promise to continue the production cuts through the end of 2018.

Related: Don’t Count On A Utah Shale Boom

Distillate inventories, too, saw a build this week, up 4.259 million barrels, against a forecast of a 548,000-barrel build.

Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site decreased by 1.951 million barrels this week.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on oil inventories is due to be released on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

Shortly after data release, the WTI benchmark was down 0.35% on the day to $57.67 at 4:38pm EST. Brent was trading down 0.75% on the day at $62.92.

 

- Julianne Geiger, Oilprice.com 2017 Dec 05

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