Yesterday, WTI crude closed lower on the day by $0.43/bbl to $49.48, HO closed down $0.0070/gal to $1.7726, and RBOB finished down $0.0136/gal to $1.6550. The market is finding some support this morning from the API statistics released last night. The APIs reported a smaller than expected build in crude inventories of 1.4 million barrels. Refined products both showed large draws. Gasoline drew 5.1 million barrels and distillates drew 6.1 million barrels. This was the expectation following Hurricane Harvey. Also supporting oil prices this morning are comments from Iraq’s Oil minister hinting at OPEC production cuts being extended until the end of 2018, and the weaker U.S. dollar.
The DOE released its Weekly Petroleum Status Repot today and, as expected, crude inventories increased over the last week. It showed a build of 4.6 million barrels, with Cushing building 703,000 barrels. Gasoline showed a smaller than expected draw in inventories at 2.1 million barrels, and distillates showed a larger than expected draw of 5.7 million barrels. Refinery utilization was up 5.5%, with PADD III increasing by 12.3%.
It is important to keep an eye on Tropcial Storm Jose. It is expected to remain offshore, but could make a slight turn westward and cause flooding along the Northeastern Coast. The first image below shows where Tropcial Storm Jose could hit. The second image shows refineries along the East Coast that may be impacted by the heavy winds and flooding.