Oil Turns Mixed at Midday

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange oil futures turned mixed with ULSD reversing higher after the Energy Information Administration issued data showing a bigger-than-expected stock build for United States crude, while distillate supplies were unexpectedly drawn down and demand for the fuel higher during the week-ended April 15.

Near 11:00 AM ET, NYMEX May West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were holding onto 25cts losses at $40.83 bbl, ahead of its expiration this afternoon. The June WTI contract fell 22cts to $42.25.

NYMEX May ULSD futures rose 0.81cts to $1.2713 gallon while NYMEX May RBOB futures retreated 1.73cts to $1.4626 gallon.

The oil futures complex fell across the board overnight after a strike by Kuwaiti oil workers ended following a three-day disruption while the American Petroleum Institute reported an increase in domestic crude oil stocks last week.

The EIA's data showed U.S. crude stockpiles rose 2.1 million bbl for the week-ended April 15 although supplies at the Cushing delivery point in Oklahoma for NYMEX WTI declined 248,000 bbl.

A survey showed the market expected a 1.7 million bbl build for the week while the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday showed a 3.1 million bbl crude stock build.

EIA also reported a 110,000 bbl stock draw for gasoline versus an expected 1.3 million bbl draw while API reported a 1.0 million bbl decline.

EIA said distillate supplies tumbled 3.6 million bbl for the week profiled, a surprise drop since the market expected a 200,000 bbl stock increase. API reported a 2.5 million bbl stock draw.

On demand side of the ledger, EIA reported implied demand for gasoline fell 110,000 bpd for the week while distillates demand rose 423,000 bpd. Refinery crude inputs, a proxy for crude demand, rose 163,000 bpd.

George Orwel can be reached at george.orwel@dtn.com