The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a construction of 3,453 million barrels of oil in the week ended November 23, compared to analysts' expectations that we would see a much more modest build in 769,000 barrels of crude.
Last week, the API reported a draw, in what was the first draw after six weeks of direct compilations, as reported by the API. A day later, the EIA had an alternate version of crude oil stocks, reporting a construction instead of 4.9 million barrels. Using the EIA numbers, this would make the tenth consecutive week of inventory built for crude oil.
These weeks and weeks of stockpiling, coupled with Washington's fear of diminishing demand and derogations so that eight countries continue to buy Iranian oil for 180 days have combined to push prices down.
Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma facility this week were up 1.302 million barrels.
Prices rose slightly on Tuesday before the data was released, optimistic that OPEC would actually cut production again after the December meeting, possibly up to 1 million or 1.5 million bpd.
At 1534 GMT, the WTI was up 0.12% (+ US $ 0.06) to US $ 51.69 – still lower in the week. The Brent benchmark was trading up 0.08% (+ $ 0.05) to $ 60.61, also down from last week.
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The API reported a draw in gasoline stocks for the week ending November 23, worth 2620 million barrels. Analysts predicted a construction of 640,000 barrels per week.
US crude oil production, as estimated by the Energy Information Administration, was also down, showing that production for the week ended November 16 was 11.7 million bpd for the second consecutive week.
Distillate inventories increased this week by 1.185 million barrels, compared to an expected consumption of 857 thousand bpd.
The US Energy Information Administration's report on crude oil inventories is due to be released on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. HUSA.
At 1635 GMT, the WTI was trading at $ 51.90 and Brent was trading at $ 60.77.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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