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Crude Oil Price Creeps Up on Inventory Decline, Gasoline Build

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report Wednesday morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories decreased by 1.3 million barrels last week, maintaining a total U.S. commercial crude inventory of 489 million barrels. The commercial crude inventory is now at the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Tuesday evening the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported that crude inventories fell by 1.28 million barrels in the week ending November 18. API also reported gasoline supplies increased by 2.7 million barrels and distillate inventories fell by 350,000 barrels. For the same period, analysts had estimated an increase of 1 million barrels in crude inventories along with a rise of 900,000 barrels in gasoline supplies, and a decrease of 700,000 barrels of distillates as well.

Total gasoline inventories increased by 2.3 million barrels last week, according to the EIA, and remain well above the upper limit of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied (the agency’s measure of consumption) averaged 9.2 million barrels a day for the past four weeks, up by 0.6% compared with the same period a year ago.

Crude oil prices have...