The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a draw in crude oil inventories of 4.728 million barrels for the week ending July 23, bringing the total 2021 crude draw so far to nearly 54 million barrels, using API data.
Analysts had expected a draw of 3.433 million barrels for the week.
In the previous week, the API reported a surprise build in oil inventories of 806,000 barrels, compared to an expected draw of 4.333 million barrels.
The price of a WTI barrel had fallen earlier on Tuesday on renewed fears of the Delta variant that has the potential to once again stymie hopes of a speedy economic recovery and the oil demand that would follow.
WTI slipped 0.56% on Tuesday afternoon in the runup to the data release.
At 2:05 p.m. EST, WTI was trading at $71.51 prior to the data release—nearly completely recovered from last week’s price crash. Brent crude was trading down 0.19% for the day at $74.36—up nearly $4 per barrel week over week.
While the recent trend is that of U.S. crude oil stocks declining, U.S. oil production is trending slightly upward, and now sits at an average of 11.4 million bpd for the week ending July 16, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration. U.S. oil production for the first three weeks of the year averaged 11 million bpd.
The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories of 6.226 million barrels for the week ending July 23—compared to the previous week's 3.307-million-barrel build.
Distillate stocks saw a decrease in inventories this week of 1.882 million barrels for the week, on top of last week's 1.255-million-barrel decrease.
Cushing inventories fell this week by 126,000 barrels, compared to last week’s 3.567-million-barrel decrease.