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Gasoline Draw Sends Oil Prices Higher

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build this week for crude oil of 4.150 million barrels, while analysts predicted a build of 333,000 barrels. According to API data, U.S. crude inventories have now gained 23 million barrels so far this year—a build made possible only by releasing 166 million barrels from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The build comes as the Department of Energy released 4.6 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves in the week ending September 23, leaving the SPR with 422.6 million barrels.

In the week prior, the API reported a build in crude oil inventories of 1.035 million barrels after analysts had predicted a build of 2.321 million barrels.

WTI rose on Tuesday prior to the data release. At 12:17 p.m. ET, WTI was trading up $1.15 (+1.50%) on the day at $77.86 per barrel—down nearly $7 per barrel on the week. Brent crude was trading up $1.49 (+1.77%) on the day at $85.55—a $5 decrease on the week. Crude oil prices continued to rise throughout the afternoon, with producers cutting supply ahead of Hurricane Ian and rumors that OPEC+ could move to cut production targets for November at its next monthly meeting.

U.S. crude oil production data for the week ending September 16 stayed at 12.1 million bpd for the fourth week in a row, according to the latest weekly EIA data.  

The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories this week of 1.048 million barrels for the week ending September 23, compared to the previous week's 3.225 million-barrel build. 

Distillate stocks saw a build of 1,438,000 barrels for the week, compared to last week's 1.538-million-barrel increase. 

Cushing inventories were up by 357,000 barrels this week. Last week, the API saw a Cushing increase of 510,000 barrels. Official EIA Cushing inventory for the week ending September 16 was 24.991 million barrels, up from 24.648 million barrels in the prior week.

WTI was trading at $78.46 moments after the release, up 2.28% on the day.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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