Oil: US stocks fall again and create a surprise

Crude reserves fell 4.4 million barrels (MB) on September 11, where analysts had expected an increase of just over 2 MB.

Commercial inventories of crude oil in the United States fell last week, after an unexpected increase the previous week, as the pace of refineries accelerated significantly.

According to a weekly report by the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), crude reserves in the country fell 4.4 million barrels (MB) to 496 MB as of September 11, where analysts had anticipated an increase of just over 2 MB.

“The pace of refineries has risen significantly compared to the previous week after the passage of hurricanes Laura and Marco” in the Gulf of Mexico, notes Matt Smith of ClipperData.

US refineries operated at 75.8% of their capacity, an increase of 4 percentage points from the previous week.

Imports, for their part, fell from 5.42 million barrels per day (mbd) to 5.01 mbd, which, according to Smith, was largely due to low levels of Saudi oil imported into the United States. United States.

Leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Arabia is indeed engaged, alongside its partners, in a policy of cutting its production aimed at stabilizing the prices of black gold.

US crude exports also fell, from 2.94 mbd to 2.60 mbd.

In Cushing, Oklahoma, where the gigantic tanks storing New York-listed WTI oil are located, reserves have fallen by 100,000 barrels to 54.3 MB.

The decline in crude inventories in the United States was however limited by the rebound in production, which stood at 10.9 mbd against 10 mbd the previous week.

“We’re just going back to pre-hurricane levels,” says Matt Smith.

“But we can see that it has already started to come down with Hurricane Sally”, which is currently sweeping the south-eastern United States, adds the expert.

As for gasoline reserves, they fell slightly (-400,000 barrels), close to the level expected by analysts.

Those of distilled products (heating oil and diesel) fell by 3.5 MB, where analysts had forecast a decline of only 250,000 barrels.

“We see demand gradually picking up, but we are still very far from the levels where we were at the same period last year, which is logical in view of the contraction of the economy and the unemployment figures”, indicates M Smith.

Americans have consumed an average of 18.1 mbd over the past four weeks, as in the previous week, but down 15.5% compared to the same period last year.

Already on the rise before the report was released, the price of a barrel of WTI for October delivery climbed 4% to $ 39.81 around 3:45 p.m. GMT.

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