WTI Futures Gain on Large Crude Draw Despite Demand Drop

Liubov Georges
By  Liubov Georges , DTN Energy Reporter

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Oil futures nearest delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange added to gains late morning Wednesday following the release of weekly supply data from the Energy Information Administration showing a sharp drop in U.S. commercial crude oil inventories but a larger-than-expected build in gasoline and distillate inventories during the week ended Jan. 1.

In late morning trading, NYMEX February West Texas Intermediate futures traded $0.84 higher near $50.79 barrel (bbl), with Intercontinental Exchange traded Brent futures surging $1 to $54.59 bbl. NYMEX February ULSD futures advanced 1.80 cents to trade near $1.5375 gallon, with February RBOB futures gaining 3.40 cents to $1.4861 a gallon.

EIA data showed 8 million bbl decline in domestic crude oil supplies during the week ended Jan. 1, far above American Petroleum Institute's estimate of a 1.663 million bbl drawdown and 2.06 million bbl drop expected by analysts. At 485.5 million bbl, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 10% above the 5-year average.

EIA also reported 4.5 million bbl build in gasoline stocks compared with a 5.473 bbl gain reported by API and a 6.4 million bbl jump in distillate fuel inventory against API's 7.136 million bbl build.

Refinery crude runs rose by 89,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the week, with utilization rates up 1.3% to 80.7% of capacity, their highest since August.

EIA reported a 653,000 bpd decrease in distillate fuel supplied to the U.S. market to 2.941 million bpd. During the four weeks ended Jan. 1, implied distillate demand averaged 3.7 million bpd, 0.3% more than the comparable year-ago period.

Gasoline supplied to the U.S. market averaged 7.441 million bpd last week, down 687,000 bpd or 10% against the same week in 2019. Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 7.9 million bpd, down 11.8% from the same period last year.

Liubov Georges can be reached at liubov.georges@dtn.com

Liubov Georges can be reached at liubov.georges@dtn.com

Liubov Georges