US crude oil inventories fell Oil prices fell about 2 percent on Wednesday as data showing large weekly builds in U.S. petroleum products offset a surprise draw in crude stockpiles.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude inventories fell 559,000 barrels during the week ended Sept. 9. Analysts had expected a build of 3.8 million barrels.
But the EIA also reported that inventories of distillates, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 4.6 million barrels in the week to Sept. 9, versus analysts’ expectations of an increase of 1.5 million barrels. That build weighed on broader market sentiment, forcing crude futures to reverse gains.
Brent crude futures were down 92 cents, or 2 percent, at 46.18 per barrel at 1:44 p.m. ET (1744 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate futuresfuture fell 93 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $43.97 a barrel.
Both Brent and WTI rose briefly after the EIA reported the latest crude drawdown, which followed the previous week’s surprise decline of 14.5 million barrels. That earlier draw, the most for a week since 1999, was due to Tropical Storm Hermine delaying oil arrivals into the U.S. Gulf Coast for several days.
“So, the million-dollar question is really a 14.5 million barrel question … as in where did all those barrels go to? The market was expecting some sort of a ‘make up call’ after last week’s storm affected mega-draw,” said David Thompson, executive vice president at commodities-focused broker Powerhouse in Washington.Click here for reuse options!