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NYMEX oil prices rise despite gain in crude, gasoline supplies

HOUSTON, January 21, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude futures prices rose Thursday despite government figures that showed a build in crude and gasoline inventories. There was a small draw in diesel stocks.

As of 10:24 am CST, March NYMEX WTI was up $0.71/bbl to 30.12/bbl; March gasoline was up 0.14 cpg to 104.41 cpg; and February diesel was up 2.33 cpg to 88.90 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration weekly statistics for the week ending January 15 showed a 4 million barrel increase in crude inventories, to 486.5 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.235 million b/d, up 8,000 for the week, but still up 49,000 vs the same period last year.

Crude production in the US is off its highs seen in the summer, but has not fallen dramatically as some hoped.

Imports of crude were down 409,000 b/d, to 7.8 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports were 7.8 million b/d compared with the same period last year, an increase of 9.6% compared with last year at this time.

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.3 million b/d, down 1.8% versus the same period last year. US refinery inputs were 16.2 million b/d, down 233,000 compared to the previous week.

Gasoline inventories were up 4.6 million barrels, to 245 million barrels. Demand was 8.8 million b/d over the past four weeks, down 2.8% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks were down 1 million barrels, to 164.5 million (“near the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 15.4% to 3.3 million b/d compared to the same period last year.

Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were lower by 0.6% on the week, put at 91.2% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD 3), runs were down 3.6% to 87.4%.

Net exports of all products were put at 1.58 million b/d, down 590,000 for the week, a number that reflects the relative weakness of Brent vs WTI, suggesting foreign refiners will have an edge over US refiners in competing for export business. -- Robert Sharp