Oil Futures Rally on Bullish EIA Report

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange spot-month oil futures rallied to fresh highs after the Energy Information Administration released U.S. data showing larger-than-expected stock draws for crude oil and distillate fuels and a smaller-than-expected stock draw for gasoline.

EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report for the week-ended May 5 detailed commercial crude oil stockpiles plunged 5.2 million barrels (bbl), with gasoline supplies drawn down by 150,000 bbl and distillate inventories down 1.6 million bbl.

The EIA report was more bullish overall than the report issued late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute showing crude stocks fell 5.8 million bbl, distillate supplies fell 1.2 million bbl and gasoline stocks rose 3.2 million bbl.

The market expected across-the-board drawdowns of 2.1 million bbl for crude, 1.1 million bbl for gasoline and 800,000 bbl for distillates.

On demand side of the ledger, the EIA report was mixed however, showing a 418,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) drop for refinery crude inputs as refinery utilization rate fell 1.8% to 91.5% for the week reviewed. Implied demand jumped 252,000 bpd for gasoline while down 117,000 bpd for distillate fuels during the week reviewed.

At 11:00 a.m. EDT, NYMEX June West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped $1.42 to $47.30 bbl, near a $47.40 four-day high. July Brent crude futures on the IntercontinentalExchange increased $1.36 to $50.09 bbl, crossing the $50 psychological mark, and trading at a $50.24 four-day high.

NYMEX June ULSD futures rallied 3.41 cents to $1.4762 gallon, trading near a $1.4788 five-day high, with June RBOB futures surging 4.50 cents to $1.5345 gallon, near a four-day high of $1.5348.

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