Oil Mixed in Midday Trade

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange oil futures maintained their mixed posture during midmorning trade Wednesday but West Texas Intermediate and ULSD contracts pared gains while RBOB extended losses after the U.S. Energy Information Administration released mixed to slightly bearish oil supply data for the week-ended May 20.

The EIA's data released at 10:30 AM ET showed a larger-than-expected draw in crude oil supplies while detailing a surprise build in gasoline inventories and smaller-than-forecast distillates supply draw. Demand was lower for the week across the board, coming ahead of Memorial Day holiday, which is the unofficial start of peak summer driving season.

At 10:57 AM ET, NYMEX July WTI crude futures were up 19cts at $48.81 bbl, moving off a better than seven-month high of $49.62. The July Brent crude contract on the IntercontinentalExchange added 44cts to $49.05 bbl, off a one-week high of $49.69.

NYMEX June ULSD futures held on to a fractional gain of 0.57cts at $1.4944 gallon, off better than six-month high of $1.5208. June RBOB futures were 2.34cts lower at $1.6310 gallon.

EIA reported crude stockpiles tumbled 4.2 million bbl to 537.1 million bbl during the week-ended May 20, but remained at historically high levels for this time of year and a 12% year-over-year supply surplus. The market had expected a draw of 3.3 million while the American Petroleum Institute's report late Tuesday showed a draw of 5.1 million bbl.

At Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for NYMEX WTI crude, crude stocks fell 649,000 bbl versus an expected draw of 1 million bbl and above API's data showing a decline of 189,000 bbl.

EIA reports crude imports averaged over 7.3 million bpd last week, down by 362,000 bpd from week prior, the likely result analysts said of the impact of the Canadian oil sands outage.

On products, EIA showed a 2 million bbl gasoline stock build, which was unexpected because a survey projected a 1.3 million bbl stock draw for the fuel. API showed a 3.6 million bbl build in gasoline inventories last week.

EIA also detailed a 1.3 million bbl stock draw for middle distillate fuels versus an expected 2 million bbl draw while API reported a 3.0 million bbl decline.

On demand side of the ledger, gasoline demand fell 239,000 bpd on the weekly while down 2.2% year-over-year. Distillates demand was down 238,000 bpd for the week, while up 3.4% year-over-year. Refinery crude oil inputs fell 92,000 bpd for the week.

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