Oil prices gain, USA crude trails Brent after inventory data

Andrew Cummings
July 18, 2019

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs decreased during the week ending July 12, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday. Refineries operated at 94.4 percent of their operable capacity last week.

The barrel of WTI fell to fresh weekly lows of $ 57.08 after the latest data released by the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed a smaller-than-expected drop in the crude inventory levels. They ended down 3.2% in the previous session.

"Gasoline consumption is painfully weak given USA consumers are in peak driving season", he said. Moreover, cyclone threatened crude production in the Gulf of Mexico amid rising tension from the Middle East. Oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico had to shut over 53 percent of the regions production.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-Benchmark Brent crude oil futures are rebounding early Wednesday following yesterday's steep sell-off.

According to API data, the USA crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to July 12 to 460 million barrels, when compared with expectations for a drop of 2.7 million, Reuters reports.

That compared with analyst expectations for a drop of 2.7 million. Meanwhile, distillate stockpiles rose by 5.7 million barrels in the week, substantially more than the expected 613,000-barrel increase.

According to data released by EIA earlier in the day, crude inventories in the USA dropped by 3.1 million barrels last week, against expectations for a drop of about 2.7 million barrels.

The smaller-than-expected decline in crude stocks suggested production shut-ins caused by Hurricane Barry late last week had little impact on inventories.

US officials say they are unsure whether an oil tanker towed into Iranian waters was seized by Iran or rescued after facing mechanical faults as Tehran asserts, sowing confusion at a time of high tension in the Gulf.

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