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Oil Prices Under Pressure As U.S. Crude Oil Inventories Climb

Crude oil inventories in the United States rose this week by 9.337 million barrels for the week ending March 22, according to The American Petroleum Institute (API). The API reported a 1.519-million-barrel drop in crude inventories in the week prior.

On Tuesday, the Department of Energy (DoE) reported that crude oil inventories in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) rose by another 0.7 million barrels as of March 22. Inventories are now at 363 million barrels—the highest point since last April.

Oil prices were trading down ahead of the API data release on Tuesday despite the Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian oil refineries that so far have knocked out an estimated 900,000 barrels per day of total refining capacity..  

At 4:02 pm ET, Brent crude was trading down 0.78% on the day at $86.07, down roughly $1.40 per barrel compared to this time last week, but up nearly $5 per barrel on the month. The U.S. benchmark WTI was trading down on the day by 0.51% at $81.53, down roughly $2 per barrel compared to last Tuesday.

Meanwhile, gasoline inventories fell this week by 4.437 million barrels after falling by 1.574 million barrels in the week prior. As of last week, gasoline inventories were about 2% below the five-year average for this time of year, according to the latest EIA data.

Distillate inventories rose this week, by 531,000 barrels, adding to last week’s 512,000 barrel gain. Distillates were 5% below the five-year average for the week ending March 15, the latest EIA data shows.

Cushing inventories also rose this week, gaining 2.392 million barrels after climbing by 325,000 barrels in the previous week.

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By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on March 27 2024 said:
    This is one trick the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) uses to halt any rise in oil prices.

    The minute oil prices start to trend upwards, the EIA immediately announces a build in US oil inventories.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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