USA crude stockpiles probably declined by 2.5 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report scheduled to be released on Wednesday.
US crude imports fell last week by 73,000 barrels per day.
Prices have been stubbornly resistant to OPEC's promise to extend the OPEC production cuts to the end of 2018, dropped yesterday as the API reported the surprisingly large gasoline inventory build. US output is "likely to have increased further, possibly reaching 9.7 million barrels per day for the time on a weekly data basis", the analysts wrote in a note Wednesday. The EIA said refineries last week processed 17.2 million barrels of crude per day, producing 9.8 million barrels per day of gasoline, down from 10.2 million bpd in the previous week.
Traders expect data from the API and EIA to show crude stocks fell 3.5 million barrels last week. Analysts had expected a draw of 3.507 million barrels.
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Distillate inventories also saw a build this week, rising 4.259-million barrels, against a forecast of a 548,000-barrel build.
According to AAA, the current national average pump price per gallon of regular gasoline is $2.478, down about two cents from $2.499 a week ago and up about five cents per gallon compared with the month-ago price.
While the offsetting products build cuts into bullish oil sentiments somewhat, the weekly development still contributes to the nation's and world's slow rebalancing of oil supply and demand following nearly two years of glut that caused crude prices to crash. The global benchmark traded at a premium of $5.30 to February WTI. It ranks first in oil futures trade.