Oil Prices Hold Gains Despite Major Crude Inventory Build

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a surprise build this week for crude oil of 7.757 million barrels, compared to analyst predictions of a 1.367 million barrel build.

U.S. crude inventories have shed some 72 million barrels since the start of 2021 and about 14 million barrels since the start of 2020.

In the week prior, the API reported a build in crude oil inventories of 1.080 million barrels after analysts had predicted a draw of 1.558 million barrels.

Oil prices were trading sharply up on Tuesday on a number of bullish catalysts that include OPEC’s no-frills warning to the EU that it would be nearly impossible to offset sanctioned Russian crude oil, Russia’s waning crude oil output so far in April, and Shanghai’s lockdown easing even as Covid cases remain at record levels.

WTI was trading up 6.54% at $100.50  per barrel on the day at 3:48 p.m. ET—down $0.30 per barrel on the week. Brent crude was trading up 6.10% on the day at $104.50 per barrel on the day—down $1 per barrel on the week.

U.S. crude oil production rose to 11.8 million bpd for the week ending April 1—the second increase in a row after months of stagnation. Crude production in the United States is still down 1.3 million barrels per day from pre-pandemic times.

This week, the API reported a draw in gasoline inventories at 5.053 million barrels for the week ending April 8—after the previous week’s 543,000-barrel draw.

Distillate stocks saw a decrease in inventory of 4.961 million barrels for the week after last week’s 593,000 barrel increase.

Cushing saw a 375,000 barrel build this week. Cushing inventories rose to 25.887 million barrels as of April 1, according to EIA data—down from 59.2 million barrels at the start of 2021, and down from 37.3 million barrels at the end of 2021.

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