EIA Reports Unexpected Increase in Crude Oil Inventories

Crude Oil futures gained on Thursday despite increase in supplies data. The crude oil futures found support from threat of Iran’s threat to disrupt oil tankers traffic. As per latest data of Energy Information Administration crude oil supplies surged by 3.9 million barrels for the week ending December 23rd, 2011 while analysts expected the decline of 2.3 million barrels in crude oil inventories for the respective week. On Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported the increase of 9.6 million barrels.

EIA reported the decrease of 700,000 barrel in gasoline inventories for the week while API reported the increase of 1.9 million barrels. Analysts on average expected the decline of 500,000 barrels in gasoline supplies.

Distillate inventories, which include heating oil and diesel gained1.2 million barrels as per EIA data while API reported the increase of 554,000 barrels in distillate supplies. Analysts were hoping distillates inventories to fell by 1.2 million barrels for the week.

Natural gas supplies declined 81 billion cubic feet for the week ending December 23rd as per data of EIA while analysts expected the decline of anywhere around 85 billion to 89 billion cubic feet for the week.

Crude oil futures contract for February delivery gained 0.3 percent or $0.29 to settle at $99.65 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Among other commodities, gasoline for January delivery advanced 1.1 percent or $0.29 to $2.68 per gallon. Heating oil futures contract for January delivery gained 0.8 percent or $0.24 to $2.92 per gallon while natural gas for February delivery declined 3 percent or $0.94 to settle at $3.03 per million British thermal units.

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