Crude oil prices jumped on Wednesday following the Energy Information Administrations’ latest weekly petroleum status report, with the authority confirming a draw in crude oil inventories of 5.8 million barrels for the week to August 17.
A day earlier, the America Petroleum Institute estimated inventories had gone down by 5.17 million barrels. Analysts had forecast a modest draw of 520,000 barrels. A week earlier, the EIA reported an inventory build of 6.8 million barrels.
In gasoline, the authority reported a build of 1.2 million barrels in inventories and an average daily production rate of 10.2 million barrels. That compares with an inventory draw of 700,000 barrels and a daily production of 10.2 million barrels in the week before.
In distillates, the EIA reported an increase in inventories of 1.8 million barrels and a daily production rate of 5.4 million barrels. This compares with a 3.6-million-barrel inventory increase a week earlier and daily production of 5.3 million barrels.
Earlier this week, the White House announced 11 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be sold this year ahead of the Iran sanctions in order to soften the effect the sanctions are expected to have on global supply.
This has mitigated the impact of the sanctions on prices, but it has not eliminated it. Both Brent and WTI crept up yesterday and continued climbing today, despite reports about unsold Nigerian crude for loading in August and September.Related: Indonesia Books Sharp Drop In Oil Imports
On the headwind front, growth in emerging economies in Southeast Asia is slowing down, dimming previously bright oil demand prospects. Also, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is approaching the moment when it will have to decide whether to go ahead with its plan to divest from all its oil holdings.
This Friday, Bloomberg reports, the Norwegian government will review a report, compiled by a committee of experts regarding whether the divestment is a good idea. If it deems it has merit, the news will certainly weigh on prices: Norway’s fund is the largest in the world with a value of US$1 trillion.