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Crude oil prices turn green on surprise US inventory draw


Commercial crude stocks fall 430,000 barrels

Gasoline stocks hit two-year low

Cushing stocks hit three-year low

Crude oil futures turned higher midmorning Oct. 20 on the back of an unexpected draw in US crude oil inventories.

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At 1445 GMT, NYMEX November WTI was up 45 cents at $83.41/b and ICE December Brent was 31 cents higher at $85.39/b.

Total commercial crude stocks fell 430,000 barrels in the week ended Oct. 15 to 426.54 million barrels, US Energy Information Administration data showed Oct. 20, putting them around 6% behind the five-year average for this time of the year.

The draw ran counter to market expectations of a continued build. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts Oct. 18 had pointed to a 2-million-barrel build in the week to Oct. 15, while American Petroleum Institute data released Oct. 19 had shown stocks up 3.29 million barrels over the period.

NYMEX November RBOB was up 1.35 cents at $2.4890/gal and November ULSD was 1.83 cents higher at $2.5790/gal.

Nationwide gasoline stocks plunged 5.37 million barrels to 217.14 million barrels, the lowest since November 2019, while distillate stocks declined 3.91 million barrels to 125.4 million barrels.

The bulk of the crude draw was realized at the NYMEX delivery point of Cushing, Oklahoma, where stocks dropped 2.32 million barrels to 31.23 million barrels. The draw was the largest one-week inventory slide at Cushing since February, leaving inventories nearly 40% behind the five-year average and at the lowest since October 2019.