Crude oil prices fell today after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported an inventory build of 16.3 million barrels for the week to February 10.
This compared with a build of 2.4 million barrels for the previous week, extending a string of weekly builds, some of them quite sizeable, which have pushed inventories above the five-year seasonal average.
In gasoline, the energy information authority estimated an inventory increase of 2.3 million barrels for the week to February 10. It compared with a build of 5 million barrels for the previous week.
Gasoline production last week averaged 9.1 million barrels daily, almost unchanged on the prior week.
In middle distillates, the EIA estimated an inventory draw of 1.3 million barrels for the week to February 10, with production down on the week, averaging 4.5 barrels daily.
This compared with an inventory increase of 2.9 million barrels for the previous week, with production in that week averaging 4.7 million bpd.
A day before the EIA reported its weekly inventory estimates, oil prices dropped following the American Petroleum Institute’s inventory estimate, which saw a sizeable build of more than 10 million barrels.
After the API report, the Energy Information Administration’s figures came as no surprise although the size of the estimated build was the largest in more than a month.
At the time of writing, Brent crude was trading at $84.70 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate was changing hands for $77.95 per barrel. Both were down by more than a percentage point from opening.
The drop could have been constrained by the federal government’s announcement of a sale from the strategic petroleum reserve, which is already at a 40-year low.
Another limiting factor was the latest CPI report from the Bureau of labor Statistics, which showed the rise in prices had slowed down, quenching fears of continued rate hike aggressiveness from the Federal Reserve.