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API and EIA’s Crude Oil Inventories: Will They Mirror Each Other?

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 11:00 a.m. ET

API crude oil inventories  

The API (American Petroleum Institute) released its weekly crude oil inventories report on June 21, 2016. It stated that US crude oil inventories fell by 5.2 MMbbls (million barrels) between June 10 and June 17, 2016. Reuters and Platt’s surveys estimate that crude oil inventories fell by 1.7 MMbbls and 1.4 MMbbls, respectively, for the same period. The API added that Cushing crude oil inventories fell for the same period. Read Will Cushing Crude Oil Inventories Support Crude Oil Prices? for more on Cushing crude oil inventories. The fall in crude oil inventories will benefit crude oil prices.

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EIA’s crude oil inventories 

API data on Tuesdays are followed by the EIA’s (U.S. Energy Information Administration) weekly petroleum status report on Wednesdays. The EIA will release its weekly petroleum status report on June 22, 2016, at 10:30 AM EST. It reported that US crude oil inventories fell by 0.9 MMbbls to 531.5 MMbbls for the week ending June 10—compared to the previous week.

Impact of nationwide crude oil inventories 

US crude oil inventories hit an all-time high of 543.6 MMbbls for the week ending April 29, 2016. Currently, they’re still 13.5% higher than the same period in 2015. Nationwide crude oil inventories are more than 100 MMbbls above their five-year average. High US crude oil inventories could limit the upside potential for crude oil prices.

The ups and downs in crude oil prices impact oil and gas producers like WPX Energy (WPX), Comstock Resources (CRK), Swift Energy (SFY), and Sanchez Energy (SN). For more information on US energy companies’ financial woes, read North American Oil and Gas Producers’ Debt Rose in 2015 and Crude Oil’s Total Cost of Production Impacts Major Oil Producers.

Volatility in crude oil prices also impacts ETFs and ETNs like the ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Crude Oil (UCO), the Direxion Daily Energy Bear 3x (ERY), and the United States Brent Oil ETF (BNO).

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at gasoline and distillate inventories.

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