By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com – U.S. crude stockpiles saw a build in the just-ended week, the government agency for energy data reported in data that showed the Biden administration pulled oil again from the nation’s reserves in a bid to ease tight market supply that could lead to inordinately high fuel prices.
But demand for fuel also slackened last week, the Weekly Petroleum Status Report from the Energy Information Information, or EIA, showed. That weakened the debate on whether the reserve pull had a biased negative impact on the report.
Crude balances in storage rose by 0.597 million barrels during the week ended April 7, the EIA said. In the previous week to March 24, crude stockpiles tumbled by 3.739M barrels after a prior draw of 7.489M barrels.
Analysts tracked by Investing.com had expected the EIA to report a crude balance decline of 0.583M barrels instead.
Adding to the crude draw was the U.S. government’s release of 1.6M barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR, during the same week. It was the second SPR draw for the year after the pull of 3.7M barrels during the prior week to March 31.
The Biden administration has leaned heavily on the SPR since late 2021 to offset tight crude supplies that had raised fuel costs for Americans. As of last week, the SPR’s crude balance was at its lowest since November 1983.
On the gasoline inventory front, the EIA cited a modest draw of 0.331M barrels versus the forecast drop of 1.6M barrels, and against the previous weekly decline of 4.119M barrels. Automotive fuel gasoline is the No. 1 U.S. fuel product.
With distillate stockpiles, the EIA reported a 0.606M barrel draw, against expectations for a drop of 0.764M barrels and versus the prior week’s consumption of 3.632M. Distillates are refined into heating oil, diesel for trucks, buses, trains and ships, and fuel for jets.