The Energy Information Administration reported today that U.S. oil inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub fell by 2.3 million barrels. That was the biggest draw down in inventory at Cushing in three months. Supplies at the Cushing Hub reflect production in the U.S. oil shale basins.
Total U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.4 million barrels for the week ended on November 15. That’s a fourth consecutive increase in total U.S. inventories.
But the increase in total U.S.inventories was far below the 6-million-barrel increase reported by the American Petroleum Institute yesterday. And it was slightly less than the 1.6-million-barrel increase expected by oil analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts.
The news on the other worry that had sent oil prices lower yesterday wasn’t as positive. Russian energy minister Alexander Novak offered a new excuse today for why Russia might exceed its OPEC+ production target for November. The startup of new natural gas field that have yielded higher volumes of light oil condensate than expected has lifted Russian production figures, but Novak argued, shouldn’t be counted against output limits since it isn’t exported. Russia has exceeded its output targets for most of 2019 and the fear yesterday was that the country would not go along with any new production cuts at the December 5-6 OPEC and OPEC+ meetings,
On balance today the markets decided not-worse-than-expected news in the hand was better than worries about what might happen in December. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate gained 3.44% to $57.11 a barrel. International benchmark Brent crude rose 2.58% to $62.48 a barrel.