Crude Inventories Meet Analyst Estimates, WTI Oil Trades Near $78
- Crude inventories grew by 2.4 milion barrels, mostly in line with analyst estimates.
- Domestic production increased from 12.2 million bpd to 12.3 million bpd.
- The report did not have a big impact on the price of oil as traders remained focused on the consequences of the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
Crude Inventories Continue To Grow
On February 8, EIA released its Weekly Petroleum Status Report, which indicated that crude inventories increased by 2.4 million barrels from the previous week. The report was mostly in line with the analyst consensus. At current levels, crude oil inventories are about 4% above the five-year average for this time of the year.
Total motor gasoline inventories grew by 5 million barrels from the previous week, while distillate fuel inventories increased by 2.9 million barrels. Crude oil imports remained at high levels, averaging 7.1 million bpd. However, they declined by 225,000 barrels from the previous week.
There were no sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which remained unchanged at 371.6 million barrels. Last year, SPR stood at 587.5 million barrels.
Domestic Oil Production Grows To 12.3 Million Bpd
The report indicated that domestic oil production increased from 12.2 million bpd to 12.3 million bpd. Rising domestic production may serve as a bearish catalyst for WTI oil as it shows that companies are ready to increase oil production when oil prices have settled near multi-month lows.
EIA noted: “This week’s domestic crude oil production estimate incorporates a re-benchmarking that affected estimated volumes by less than 50,000 barrels per day, which is about 0.4% of this week’s estimated production total.”
It remains to be seen whether growing domestic production will have a material impact on the oil markets. The recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria, as well as the reopening of the Chinese economy, may remain the key catalysts for oil markets in the near term.
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