Crude Oil Prices Climb as U.S. Inventory Rises and China’s Reopening Boosts Demand

Crude oil inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). On average, analysts had forecasted a climb of 2.1 million barrels, according to a poll conducted by S&P Global Commodity Insights.[0] The EIA report also showed weekly inventory gains of 5 million barrels for gasoline and 2.9 million barrels for distillates, exceeding the analyst survey’s forecasts of 1.6 million barrels for gasoline and 100,000 barrels for distillates. For the week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that crude inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma-based New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) delivery hub rose by[0]

At 455.1 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 4% above the five year average for this time of year.[1] The EIA estimated an inventory increase of 5 million barrels for gasoline and 2.9 million barrels for distillates, indicating strong refinery runs over the week. Refinery utilization increased by 2.2pp to 87.9%, the strongest level so far this year.[2]

The demand for oil is being driven by China’s reopening following the relaxation of the Covid-19 zero-tolerance policy.[3] The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that China will account for half of global oil demand in 2023.[4]

On Monday, oil prices managed to increase from their initial decrease, as investors considered Russia’s intention to reduce oil output and apprehensions of immediate demand prior to the release of United States inflation figures.[5] At 10.05am GMT, Brent crude futures decreased by US$1.14, or 1.3%, to US$85.25 per barrel after having risen 2.2% the previous day.[6] The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude decreased by US$1.11, or 1.3%, and was at US$78.61 after rising 2.1% in the preceding session.

The price of Brent crude increased by 41 cents, or 0.5%, to $84.10[7] WTI crude from the U.S. West rose 48 cents, or 0.6%, to a price of $77.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 2.9% to $76.24 per barrel.[8] The price of Brent crude rose 2.2%, settling at $82.78 per[8] The price of natural gas increased by 2[8]

0. “EIA reports weekly increases for U.S. crude, gasoline and distillate supplies” Morningstar, 8 Feb. 2023,

1. “Oil Retreats On EIA Inventory Data”, 8 Feb. 2023,

2. “The Commodities Feed: US oil and product stocks grow” ING Think, 9 Feb. 2023,

3. “Oil falls on demand fears as Fed ‘make or break moment’ approaches” CNA, 13 Feb. 2023,

4. “WTI rallies towards $76.50 as the USD remains offered due to Powell’s speech” FXStreet, 7 Feb. 2023,

5. “Oil ticks higher as Fed ‘make or break moment’ approaches” CNBC, 13 Feb. 2023,

6. “Oil prices decline on US supply concerns”, 9 Feb. 2023,

7. “Oil Rises for Third Day as Rate Fears Cool Down”, 8 Feb. 2023,

8. “Crude Oil Prices, Oil Stocks Rebound, Lifted By China And Turkey | Investor’s Business Daily” Investor’s Business Daily, 7 Feb. 2023,