By Julianne Geiger
With Brent Crude falling from its $80 height of last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build of 1.001 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending May 25, compared to analyst expectations that this week would see a build in crude oil inventories of 2.214 million barrels.
Last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a draw of 1.3 million barrels of crude oil.
The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories for week ending May 25 in the amount of 1.682 million barrels.
Both benchmarks are more than $2 under last week’s levels as OPEC and Russia intimated earlier in the week that they may raise crude production if necessary as the market weighs the threat of US sanctions on Iran and freefalling production in Venezuela. Oil prices picked up on Wednesday on headlines that OPEC would stick with its supply quotas through the end of the year. While this declaration alleviated concerns that the market would once again be awash with crude supplies, the original Reuters piece included the caveat that they would be “ready to make gradual adjustments to offset any supply shortage,” according to a Gulf source that is familiar with Saudi thinking.
Fine print notwithstanding, at 2:24p.m. EDT on Wednesday, WTI Crude was up 2.46 percent at $68.37. Brent crude was trading up 2.90% at $77.68.
US crude oil production for yet another week for week ending May 18—the most recent data available—increased to 10.725 million bpd, according to the EIA.
Distillate inventories saw a build this week of 1.466 million barrels, and inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site fell by 132,000 barrels.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on oil inventories is due to be released on Thursday due to the Memorial Day holiday.
By 4:34pm EST, the WTI benchmark was trading up 2.46% on the day to $68.37 while Brent was trading up 3.19% at $77.90.