Oil Prices Fall After API Reports Huge Build In Gasoline Inventories

Distillates rose by 4.26 million barrels.

"This bears all the hallmarks of a year-end lull in USA fuel demand, which in turn should help safeguard the current bout of range-bound trading", said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd.in London.

January WTI crude oil settled at $57.62, up $0.15 or +0.26% and February Brent crude oil closed at $62.86, up $0.41 or +0.66%.

The price for January Futures Brent oil grew by 0,11% to stand at $62,52 per barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Crude oil inventories fell 5.6 million barrels in the December 1 week to 448.1 million, 7.8 percent below the level a year ago, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its weekly report Wednesday. Traders were looking for a draw of about 3.5 million barrels. The US rig count climbed again for the week ending 1st December 2017. They are now 9.1 million barrels below their level during the same week in 2015, but "they are still more than 100 million barrels above their level from the same week during 2014", said Jenna Delaney, senior oil analyst at S&P Global Platts.

The API report was also said to find that crude inventories slid by 5.48 million barrels last week and supplies at the key Cushing, Oklahoma, pipeline hub declined by 1.95 million barrels, the people said.

Distillate inventories, too, saw a build this week, up 4.259 million barrels, against a forecast of a 548,000-barrel build.

"As refiners are encouraged to keep running full tilt, and as oil imports remain depressed, crude inventories continue to draw, while gasoline inventories rise", said Smith.

US crude production continued to edge higher, with total domestic output at about 9.7 million barrels a day last week, up 25,000 barrels a day, according to the EIA.

"But a weaker economic performance and a decline in refinery capacity utilization in the first quarter could be a drag on oil demand and dampen prices", said Georgi Slavov, the head of research at commodity broker Marex Spectron.