Oil Futures Lower as EIA Confirms Crude Build

VIENNA (DTN) -- Oil futures closest to expiration on the New York Mercantile Exchange and Brent crude on the Intercontinental Exchange pared losses Wednesday morning following the release of the Energy Information Administration's Weekly Petroleum Status report but remain down on the day. While directionally confirming the American Petroleum's Institute report, the EIA saw a smaller increase in crude oil stockpiles and a larger draw to oil products.

The EIA reported commercial crude oil inventories in the U.S. increased 2.7 million barrels (bbl) in the week ending April 12, compared to API's reported 4.09-million-bbl build. Gasoline and distillate fuel oil stocks fell by a combined 4.7 million bbl, versus 2.94 million bbl reported by the API.

Distillate fuel oil supplied recovered from its previous slump. The demand proxy averaged 3.67 million bpd last week, up 680,000 bpd week-on-week. Both the weekly and four-week-averages, however, are still trailing year-ago levels.

Despite the larger product draws, the report's main takeaway didn't differ much from Tuesday's: crude inventories in the U.S. continue to build at a surprising pace.

Near 11:15 a.m. EDT, WTI futures for May delivery were down $0.78 bbl to trade near $84.61 bbl, and Brent for June delivery fell $0.89 bbl to $89.13 bbl. RBOB for May delivery dropped $0.0467 gal to $2.7756 gal, while ULSD for May delivery traded near $2.626 gal, down $0.0253 gal.

Karim Bastati, karim.bastati@dtn.com, www.dtn.com.

Karim Bastati can be reached at karim.bastati@dtn.com