Crude oil prices rose today after the Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil inventory decline of 1 million barrels for the week to October 16.

The report came a day after the American Petroleum Institute pressured prices by reporting an unexpected build in inventories, even though it was a moderate one, at a little over half a million barrels.

The EIA inventory estimate compares with a draw of 3.8 million barrels reported for the previous week, and analyst expectations for an inventory decline of 240,000 barrels.

In gasoline, the EIA reported an inventory increase of 1.9 million barrels for the week to October 16, which compared with a draw of 1.6 million barrels that helped stabilize prices temporarily.

Gasoline production last week averaged 8.9 million bpd, compared with 9.2 million bpd a week earlier.

In distillate fuels, the authority reported an inventory fall of 3.8 million barrels for last week. This compared with a hefty—and much needed—draw of 7.2 million barrels reported for the previous week.

Distillate fuel production averaged 4.1 million bpd last week, compared with 4.3 million bpd a week earlier.

Refinery runs averaged 13 million barrels daily, compared with 13.6 million bpd a week earlier, operating at 72.9 percent of capacity, versus 75.1 percent of capacity during the previous week.

Oil prices started the week with a loss over disappointing economic data out of China, fears of this resurgence of coronavirus cases, additional lockdown measures in Europe, and the looming threat that OPEC could turn on the taps in January as originally planned. However, talk that the cartel could stick with the current rate of cuts served to provide some counterweight to the negative sentiment and yesterday, prices actually gained a few cents.

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At the time of writing, Brent crude was trading at $42.60 a barrel, with West Texas Intermediate at $41.01 a barrel, both down from yesterday’s close.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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