(updates with analyst, context and price)
Investing.com – US oil stocks have fallen unexpectedly in the past week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Crude inventories fell 431,000 barrels last week, compared to analysts’ expectations for a build of 1.857 million barrels.
Distillate inventories, which include diesel and diesel, fell 3.913 million barrels during the week, from an expected 700,000 barrels, according to EIA data.
Gasoline inventories fell 5.368 million barrels last week, the EIA said, compared to expectations of a draft of 1.267 million barrels.
“This should be a relief for oil bulls, who have likely been dismayed over the past three consecutive weeks of crude builds that have added nearly 13 million barrels to crude inventories,” the analyst said. Investing.com, Barani Krishnan. “In addition, this is the first time in a long time that the API crude build number of 3.3 million barrels reported last night has been totally distorted from the official EIA figure. ”
Krishnan said lower crude imports appeared to have contributed to a slimmer crude balance sheet, with the United States shipping nearly 170,000 barrels per day less than the week before.
“That in itself is 1.2 million barrels for the whole week,” he said. “We also saw a daily increase of half a million barrels in crude exports. That’s 3.5 million more over the week. If you add just these two, you would have 4.7 million barrels taken out of the API equation. Meanwhile, we continue to see Cushing inventories dropping as production does not match prints. So, it’s not really hard to see where things went wrong with API numbers. “
Krishnan said what needs to be questioned is the below-normal refining activity for this time of year. “We are operating at a little less than 85% of optimum capacity when it should be closer to 90% at least, shoulder season permitting. I suspect the offset is the reason for this, as it probably gives refiners the assurance that it is always cheaper to source oil nearby than to invite. This shows that even refiners resist buying at these prices, despite the widespread belief that the market could only rise. ”
WTI, which was in the red earlier in the session amid concerns over China’s planned intervention in energy markets to contain prices, turned positive on EIA data.
At 11:00 a.m. ET (3:00 p.m. GMT), the benchmark U.S. crude was up 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $ 82.52 a barrel after hitting $ 80.80 earlier.
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