‘The crude oil inventory build was really terrible for the market but the market does not seem to care because the products inventories were better than expected and are dragging crude oil prices up with it’. – Andrew Lipow, Lipow Oil Associates
US crude oil inventories jumped more than markets anticipated amid a sharp increase in imports and rise in Cushing crude inventories, official figures showed on Wednesday. According to the Energy Information Administration, US crude stockpiles climbed 13.8 million barrels during the week ended February 3, following the preceding week’s gain of 6.5 million barrels and surpassing analysts’ expectations for a rise of 2.7 million barrels. The EIA reported US crude oil imports averaged 1.1 million barrels per day last week, rising the most at the Gulf Coast, where inventories surged 10.9 million, the record weekly increase, to 267.6 million barrels. Crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, jumped 1.1 million barrels. Meanwhile, gasoline stocks dropped 869,000 barrels in the same week, topping forecasts for a 1.1 million-barrel rise. Distillate stocks advanced 29,0000 barrels, whereas analysts anticipated a 300,000 barrel-increase. The EIA also said that refinery utilization rates fell 0.5% to 87.7%, while demand for refinery feedstocks declined 54,000 barrels per day. As a result, the price of West Texas Intermediate futures climbed 0.5% to $52.47 per barrel, up from $51.22 ahead of the release, while Brent futures advanced 0.8% to $55.48 per barrel. Earlier this week, the American Petroleum Institute reported US crude stocks climbed 14.3 million barrels.