API reported a draw of 8.67 million barrels in U.S. crude oil inventories for last week
Gasoline inventories fell by 1.726 million barrels, Distillate inventories rose by 124,000 barrels
For the week ending May 26, the American Petroleum Institute ( #API ) reported a draw of 8.67 million barrels in United States crude oil inventories, compared to analyst expectations of a draw of 2.8 million barrels. Gasoline inventories fell by 1.726 million barrels, according to the API. #Distillate inventories rose this week by 124,000 barrels, while inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site fell by 753,000 barrels.
It appears that refiners have been making gasoline in anticipation of the summer driving season. Whatever the reason for the drawdown, it is welcomed by producers. Oil prices have fallen this week, from WTI at $51.41 last week to $48.24 on Wednesday ahead of the API report. Brent traded at $50.68 ahead of the report—off from $54.11 this time last week.
WTI = West Texas Intermediate
The Vienne Group Decision
Last week, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, #OPEC, ministers meeting in Vienna produced an agreement to maintain production reduction of 1.8 million barrels per day for another nine months. The so-called Vienne Group, which is OPEC nations plus allied oil producing nations, most notably Russia, are hoping the move would support prices. Saudi Arabia last week announced it would reduce oil exports by 15% to the US to manually adjust the inventory equation, in hopes of lifting prices.
Rig Counts Rise
Prices are pushed lower by continued rise in the domestic production and a rise in rig counts in the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. rig count rose 7 rigs last week to 915, with oil rigs up 2 to 722, gas rigs up 5 to 185, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1. The U.S. Rig Count is up 511 rigs from last year’s count of 404, with oil rigs up 406, gas rigs up 98, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. The Canadian Rig Count rose 8 rigs last week to 93, with oil rigs up 4 to 40 and gas rigs up 4 to 53. The Canadian Rig Count is up 50 rigs from last year’s count of 43, with oil rigs up 26, gas rigs up 25, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 0.
Five Weeks Drawdown
This week inventory number showed a significant draw in itself. The last five reporting weeks has seen a reduction of 19.277 million barrels, according to API data, and 15.9 million barrels using the Energy Department’s Energy Information Agency’s #EIA numbers. While the draw doesn’t offset the builds we saw in Q1 but drawdown trends from Q1 to Q2 cannot be ignored, and should be a positive sign for the industry.
EIA reports its inventory data on Thursday morning, delayed one day due to the Memorial Day holiday.
At last check, WTI was trading at $48.72 per barrel, up 42 cents. WTI has a 52-week trading range of $44.13 – $58.15. Brent last traded at $51.20 per barrel, up 44 cents. Brent has a 52-week trading range of $46.47 – $60.21 per barrel.
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