Crude Oil Prices Fall on API Figures, U.S. Inventory Build

Crude oil prices fell on Tuesday after the American Petroleum Institute (API) figures indicated that crude stocks in the U.S. had risen more than the forecast of 10.5 million barrels. The official data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that crude oil inventories increased by 16.283 million barrels, while forecasters were expecting 1.166 million.

The fall in oil prices came as the U.S. announced plans to sell more inventory from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, adding to the already-volatile crosscurrents in the global oil market’s supply and demand.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also raised its projection for global oil demand growth and pointed to a tighter market in 2023, while the EIA reported a build of 2.317 million barrels in gasoline inventories for the week to February 10.[0] Crude oil inventories rose by an impressive 10.507 million barrels last week.[1]

Oil prices extended their decline after an industry estimate pointed to a large build in U.S. inventories and investors assessed the outlook for U.S. monetary policy following data showing still-elevated inflation.[2] WTI dropped toward $79 a barrel after a volatile session Monday, as the U.S. is looking to sell 26 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in accordance with a budget mandate enacted in 2015.[3]

The EIA report showed that (1) U.S. crude oil inventories as of February 10 were 7.3% above the seasonal 5-year average, (2) gasoline inventories were 4.9% below the seasonal 5-year average, and (3) distillate inventories were 15.3% below the 5-year seasonal average. Crude oil production in the United States for the week ending February 10th was the same week-over-week at 12.3 million barrels per day (bpd). This is the highest production level since 2017 and only 0.8 million bpd (6.1% lower) than the record-high of 13.1 million bpd seen in February 2020[4]

Overall, the report was mainly bearish for crude prices with EIA crude inventories rising to a 20-month high, well above expectations of a 2.0 million bbl increase.[4] Gasoline stockpiles rose to an 11-month high, more than expectations for a 1.5 million bbl build.[4] Distillate inventories unexpectedly fell -1.[3]

0. “Oil traders hit ‘sell button’ with U.S. set to release more crude from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve” MarketWatch, 14 Feb. 2023,

1. “Oil little changed as market discounts big U.S. crude storage build” CNBC, 15 Feb. 2023,

2. “Oil Extended a Decline After an Industry Estimate Pointed to a Large Build in US … – Latest Tweet by” LatestLY, 15 Feb. 2023,

3. “Oil declines on U.S. requirement to sell more crude from the SPR” BNN Bloomberg, 14 Feb. 2023,

4. “Crude Falls On Dollar Strength And Surge In EIA Crude Inventories” Barchart, 15 Feb. 2023,