Oil prices slightly increased Thursday morning on the back of a larger-than-expected draw in US crude stocks. Brent crude contract increased by 0.27% from the settle, to $55.95/bbl as of 9:00 AM UKT, while WTI gained 0.02% rising to $49.99/bbl.
US crude stockpiles decreased for the second consecutive week, as reported by the EIA. The inventory was assessed 6 million barrels (mmbbl) down for the week ending September 29th, against expectations for a 4.15 mmbbl decrease, according to a Reuters poll. Meanwhile, refinery utilization levels slightly decreased by 0.5% to 88.10% of total capacity, still away from the pre-Harvey utilization levels of around 94%. Lower utilization levels forced crude oil input to refineries drop by 145,000 bbl.
Gasoline stocks, on the other hand, increased last week by 1.65 mmbbl standing at 219 mmbbl, but still close to years low monitored on 21st September. The motor fuel stocks decreased by 2.6 mmbbl, while a drop of 1.8 mmbbl was expected.
US crude oil exports soared by 493,000 bpd to the highest level seen in the past two years, with the daily exported volume currently standing at 1.99 mmbbl. At the same time, US crude oil imports decreased by 213,000 bpd, with daily imported crude now estimated at 7.2 mmbbl.
The Oil Research Team
Supply Chain & Commodities Research