Oil Prices Hold On Minor Crude Draw, Products Build

Crude oil prices stabilized on Wednesday morning after the Energy Information Administration announced an inventory drawdown of 0.2 million barrels for the week through December 3.

The report comes a day after the American Petroleum Institute surprised markets with an estimated crude oil inventory draw of over 3 million barrels, which helped push prices up.

In EIA estimates, last week’s draft compares to a modest drop of 900,000 barrels for the first week of December.

At 432.9 million barrels, US crude oil inventories remain below the five-year seasonal average.

The EIA also reported an estimated increase of 3.9 million barrels in gasoline inventories, with an average production of 9.6 million barrels per day last week.

This compares to a gasoline inventory of 4 million barrels for the previous week and an average production of 9.6 million barrels per day.

In middle distillates, the EIA reported an increase in inventories of 2.7 million barrels for the week to December 3, compared to an increase of 2.2 million barrels for the previous week.

Middle distillate production last week averaged 4.9 million bpd, up from 4.9 million bpd a week earlier.

In total, refineries processed 15.8 million barrels per day of crude oil last week. Imports amounted to 6.5 million barrels per day.

Oil prices have improved since the start of the week, with initial fears that the new Omicron variant could cause further blockages began to fade amid reports of mild symptoms not requiring hospitalization.

They are still well below their October highs, but have rebounded from lows of less than $ 70 seen towards the end of November. The outlook remains uncertain as researchers warn it is early for Omicron and more data will become available over time.

Meanwhile, however, OPEC has maintained a sensitive chord, with Saudi Arabia raising oil prices for Asian and American buyers, and the Iraqi Oil Minister forecasting oil at $ 75 a barrel, which, at the at the time of writing, was a fact with Brent trading at $ 75.34. a barrel.

By Irina Slav for Oil Octobers

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Felix J. Dixon