On Wednesday the OPEC oil market report gave its forecasts for oil demand and supply trends. Now we have the Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly crude oil and gasoline inventories. These reports can move the energy markets. It may not be unusual as it sounds, but we have seen opposite moves in oil inventories versus gasoline inventories.
The U.S. Department of Energy showed that U.S. crude oil stocks were up by about 1.0 million barrels in the past week to 523.6 million barrels. Dow Jones had a consensus estimate calling for a drop of 800,000 barrels. What stands out here is that this appears to be a record high for crude inventory.
U.S. gasoline stockpiles fell by 2.8 million barrels to 235.383 million barrels. This was a much sharper drop than expected, as the Dow Jones consensus estimate was for a drop of about 800,000 barrels.
U.S. refineries ran at 92.2%, lower than the 93.3% from a week earlier, and also lower than the Dow Jones consensus of 93.0%.
U.S. distillate stockpiles were down by 1.959 million barrels to 151.196 million. The consensus estimate on that was for a gain of about 500,000 barrels.
West Texas Intermediate crude was last seen trading up $0.43 (1%) at $43.20, and Brent Sea crude was up 1% at $45.42.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) is the king of oil production in the United States. Its shares were last seen down 1% at $87.09, but that was closer to $87.50 right before the EIA report came out. Exxon Mobil has a consensus analyst price target of $89.63 and a 52-week trading range of $66.55 to $95.55.
Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) is watched closely for refining news, and its shares rose 1% after the news drop. Shares were last seen trading down 2.3% at $53.72. Its 52-week range is $46.88 to $73.88, and its consensus analyst target is $63.67. OPEC’s monthly report talked down refining margins.
United States Oil Fund L.P. (NYSEMKT: USO) was last seen down 0.35% at $10.03, in a 52-week range of $7.67 to $16.20. As a reminder, this exchange traded product is based on futures contracts and experiences price decay and tracking error through time.