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Oil Markets Unimpressed By Small Crude Inventory Build

Crude oil inventories rose last week, while gasoline inventories declined, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

The EIA has reported that crude oil inventories increased by 1 million barrels for the week to November 19.

At 434 million barrels, the authority said, crude oil inventories were still 7 percent below the five-year average for this time of year.

The reported draw compares with a draw of 2.1 million barrels for the previous week and analyst expectations of a 481,000-barrel draw

For gasoline, the EIA reported an inventory decline of 600,000 barrels for the week ending November 19, which compared with a draw of 700,000 barrels for the previous week.

Gasoline production averaged 10.1 million bpd last week—an increase from the 9.9 million bpd produced in the prior week.

In middle distillates, the EIA data showed an inventory draw of 2.0 million barrels for the seven days to November 19, with production averaging 4.8 million bpd.

This compared with a stock draw of 800,000 barrels for the previous week and average daily production of 4.8 million barrels.

Refineries processed 15.6 million bpd last week, and imports of crude stood at 6.2 million bpd. This compared to refinery runs of 15.4 million bpd and imports of 6.2 million bpd for the previous week.

The announced release of 50 million barrels from the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserves to bring down gasoline prices has had little effect on the price of crude oil so far. The barrels will not be released—in the form of an exchange—until next month.

At 9:00 a.m., prior to the EIA’s data release, WTI crude was trading at $78.43, down just $0.07 (-0.09%) on the day. Brent crude was trading at $82.23, down $0.08 (-0.10%) on the day.

Shortly after data release, WTI was trading up 0.03% at $78.52.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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