Oil Prices Fall After EIA Confirms Crude Build

Crude oil prices fell today after the Energy Information Administration reported an inventory increase of 2.4 million barrels for the week to April 1.

This compared with a draw of 3.4 million barrels for the previous week.

A day earlier, the American Petroleum Institute reported an estimated crude oil inventory build of 1.56 million barrels. Prices dipped following the news but quickly recovered. At the time of writing, both Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate were trading with moderate losses since the start of today’s session.

In gasoline, the EIA estimated an inventory draw of 2 million barrels for the week to April 1, which compared with a build of 800,000 barrels for the previous week.

Gasoline production, the EIA said, averaged 9.1 million barrels daily, a slight increase on the previous week. Gasoline prices, meanwhile, remain high, with the national average as of April 5 at $ 4,176 per gallon.

In middle distillates, the EIA estimated an inventory increase of 800,000 barrels for last week, which compared with a draw of 2.1 million barrels for the previous week.

Middle distillate production averaged 5 million barrels daily last week, which compared with 5.1 million bpd for the previous week. Distillate production figures are currently watched closely as fear of shortages caused by anti-Russian sanctions loom large, pushing up jet fuel prices.

According to a Reuters report from this week, jet fuel prices on the East Coast hit a record high amid these supply fears, as distillate exports to the East Coast decline by as much as 60 percent over the past year.

Crude oil prices also seem to have higher to go as the European Union mulls over oil sanctions against Russia. This week, the European Commission announced it would suspend coal imports from Russia and there have been signals that oil may be next.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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