EIA Reports Declines in Crude Oil Inventories

Energy Information Administration released its weekly data on crude oil inventories on Wednesday and reported the decrease of 200,000 barrel in oil supplies for the week ending February 10th, 2012. Another trade group API on Tuesday reported the increase of 2.9 million barrels in crude oil stockpiles while analysts expected the increase of 1.9 million barrels for the respective week.

Gasoline inventories increased 400,000 barrels as per EIA data while API indicated the surge of 1.8 million barrels for the week. Analysts on the other hand forecasted the increase of 600,000 barrels in gasoline inventories. Distillates supplies which include heating oil and diesel fell 2.9 million barrels for the week. API reported the decrease of 600,000 barrels in distillate inventories which was exactly what the analysts forecasted.

Crude oil futures contract for the March delivery gained 1.1 percent or $1.06 to settle at $101.80 per barrel on the New York Mercantile exchange in reaction to EIA’s data. Moreover, despite the denial of Tehran in regards to ceasing of oil supplies to European countries, investors were uncertain over the global oil supply.

Tariq Zahir from Tyche Capital commented, “Crude has grounded higher solely on the geopolitical premium in relation to Iran, fundamentally the energy complex has seen softer demand year over year but we are currently trading mainly on fear of a disruption … any upside will have to be fueled by Iran headlines, otherwise fundamentals should come back into focus and the energy complex should retrace the recent gains it has seen.”

Among other commodities, gasoline futures for March delivery advanced 0.8 percent or $0.02 to $3 per gallon while heating oil for the same month gained 0.9 percent or $0.03 to $3.19 per gallon. Natural gas futures for March delivery fell 4.2 percent or $0.11 to settle at $2.43 per million British thermal units.

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