Crude prices for November West Texas Intermediate (WTI) on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) climbed higher on October 18th after the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), reported unexpected drops in crude, gasoline and heating oil inventories.
The API report, released late on October 17th, showed a crude stock draw of 3.1 million barrels over the previous week to 280.72 million barrels. Distillate stocks, including heating oil, fell 540,000 barrels, while gasoline stocks plunged by 3.7 million barrels.
The numbers surprised many analysts, who had forecast a rise in inventories, and sent the market to $33.70 a barrel in overnight trading, a gain of 71 cents.
The EIA’s numbers showed steeper inventory drops, with crude stocks falling 4.5 million barrels from the previous week to 283.2 million barrels, 20.5 million barrels lower than the same period in 1999.
Gasoline stocks were seen down 2.5 million barrels to 193.3 million barrels, a loss of 12.7 million barrels over a year ago, with heating oil down 800,000 barrels to 45.8 million barrels, a drop of 25.4 million barrels from 1999. The EIA also saw U.S. refinery utilization for the week ended October 13th at 92.1 percent, down from 93.6 percent the previous week.