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EIA reports draw of crude oil amid prices drop

Xinhua Financein HOUSTON
2018-09-07 10:12

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U.S. crude oil inventories decreased last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Thursday.

According to the Weekly Petroleum Status Report by EIA, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), decreased by 4.3 million barrels during the week ending Aug. 31. The market's expectation was a draw of 1.9 million barrels in crude oil.

Meanwhile, EIA reported large builds in gasoline and distillates which created a bearish sentiment on oil prices.

In the previous week ending Aug. 24, EIA reported a draw of 2.5 million barrels of crude oil in the United States. The commercial crude oil inventories excluding SPR is 13.2 percent below the levels of the same week last year.

According to EIA, U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 17.64 million barrels per day during the week ending Aug. 31, which was 81,000 barrels per day higher than the previous week's average. Over the past four weeks, refinery inputs averaged 17.77 million barrels per day, 5.7 percent higher than the same four-week period of last year.

The big increase in crude oil inputs to refineries was due to the fact that Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf coast a year ago and it caused major disruptions in the refinery activities. During the same week last year, crude oil inputs to refineries averaged 14.47 million barrels per day.

High refinery utilization was a major reason behind the builds in gasoline and distillates. It also caused a larger draw in crude oil inventories.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.71 million barrels per day last week which was 229,000 barrels per day higher than the levels of the previous week. Over the past four weeks, crude oil imports averaged 7.93 million barrels per day, 0.5 percent lower than the same four-week period last year.

U.S. crude oil exports averaged 1.51 million barrels per day last week, down by 271,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

The net imports averaged 6.21 million barrels per day last week, up by 500,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.8 million barrels last week, about 3.5 percent above the levels of the same week last year. The market expected a draw of 1.5 million barrels of gasoline.

Distillate fuel inventories increased by 3.1 million barrels last week, 9.9 percent below the levels of the same week last year. The market expected 500,000 barrels of distillates draw. The reported build surprised the market, which further downward pressured the oil prices.

Builds in gasoline and distillates created doubts about the demand. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 3.6 million barrels in the country last week.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 21.38 million barrels per day, up by 3 percent from the same period last year. Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline supplied averaged 9.65 million barrels per day, up by 1.1 percent from the same period last year.

Distillate fuel oil supplied over the last four-week period averaged 4.19 million barrels per day, up by 2.9 percent from the same period last year. Over the past four weeks, jet fuel supplied averaged 1.88 million barrels per day, up by 5.1 percent from the same period last year.

According to EIA, U.S. crude oil production remained unchanged at 11 million barrels per day during last week.

Oil prices moved downward on Thursday after official data showed large builds in U.S gasoline and distillates inventories. The market focused on the builds in the oil products inventories rather than the draw in crude oil inventories.

Meanwhile, the lower exports of crude oil from the United States were also a negative factor to oil prices as the U.S. production remained level.

Earlier this week, the market was expecting that the tropical storm Gordon might disrupt the energy operations along the Gulf of Mexico. However, the storm weakened when it made land late Tuesday, without a significant impact on the operations.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October delivery price decreased by 1.4 percent to settle at 67.77 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for November delivery decreased by 1.0 percent to settle at 76.50 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
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