Crude oil gains ahead of Asia open on surprise API draw

Singapore street scene with tax and bus; taken in August 2018.Singapore street scene with tax and bus; taken in August 2018.

Crude oil prices are seen higher ahead of the Asian open on Wednesday after a sharper draw in weekly estimates of U.S. inventories.

U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 8.6 million barrels last week to 395.9 million barrels, compared to an expected dip of 805,000 barrels, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.

ICE Brent was last quoted up 2.75 percent to US$79.50 after the API estimates and NYMEX West Texas Intermediate up 0.81 percent to US$69.81 a barrel ahead of the Asian open. Brent crude oil settled up 2.18 percent to US$79.06 a barrel, while WTI jumped 2.53 percent to US$69.25 a barrel.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 1.2 million barrels, API said. Refinery crude runs rose by 134,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Gasoline stocks rose by 2.1 million barrels, compared with an expected 1.3 million-barrel gain. Distillates rose by 5.8 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 1.4 million-barrel gain.

U.S. crude imports fell by 731,000 bpd to 7.5 million bpd.

The Energy Information Administration will release official crude oil export figures on Wednesday at 10:30 am U.S. EDT. OPEC’s monthly report on crude oil stocks is due at 0720 GMT Wednesday.