Crude oil prices waffled around unchanged levels for most of the morning hours, as they reacted to $92.00 pricing and a mixed macroeconomic tone. However, some traders expected that to change with this morning's active flow of US data on Jobless Claims and Producer Price Index. Crude oil supply status has been in a state of flux this week but seemed to find some clarity on reports that the Trans Alaska Pipeline was running at 75% capacity. In the meantime, crude oil prices rallied in the wake of yesterday's EIA report that showed a decline in crude stocks of 2.154 million barrels. This has tightened up the surplus to year ago levels to 2.076 million barrels, but they remain 15.595 million barrels above the five year average. The surprise draw came despite a noted increase in crude oil imports for the week, which came in at 8.895 million barrels per day. The refinery operating rate came in at 86.4%, down 1.6% from last week but up from 81.3% last year and the five year average of 85.6%.
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