imageCommodities11 hours ago (Aug 19, 2020 11:39AM ET)

(C) Reuters. — U.S.crude oil stockpiles dropped less than expected last week, marking the fourth-straight weekly draw, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Inventory declined by 1.6 million barrels last week, albeit falling short of expectations for a draw of 2.67 million barrels. Inventory dropped 4.5 million barrels the previous week.

The data follows the American Petroleum Institute‘s own report on Tuesday, which said that last week’s inventory dropped more than 4.2 million barrels.

Crude stored at the Cushing, Oklahoma, facility dropped 607,000 barrels after rising 1.3 million barrels the previous week. Traders had expected a draw of 1.98 million barrels.

Gasoline inventory fell by an unexpectedly large 3.32 million barrels. Analysts had forecast a draw of just over 1 million barrels.

“It’s another mixed bag of data, with the crude draw coming in a million barrels below expectations while gasoline compensates that by falling about three times more,” said analyst Barani Krishnan.

On the exports front as well, there is an additional 1 million barrels per day in shipments at 5.65 million daily. Adding to that is another 1.5 million barrels outflow from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while production is steady at 10.7 million barrels per day.

“For today, though, the action is being decided by what’s going at the OPEC+ panel meeting, whether the powers-that-be — the Saudis, essentially — get to force laggards like Iraq and Nigeria to comply with missed production cuts, while the alliance as a whole raises output. An OPEC+ draft statement says the pace of oil market recovery is slower than anticipated,” Krishnan said. “It’s a delicate balancing act, no doubt.”

Oil Inventories Fell 1.6 Million Barrels: EIA

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