Analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi


West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices recovered the $48 per barrel (/b) mark this morning, continuing the week’s upward price trend. Product prices also rose strongly yesterday and this morning.


Oil prices rallied strongly yesterday upon the release of the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) official statistics on weekly oil supply and stocks. The EIA reported across-the-board drawdowns in inventories: 5.247 million barrels (MMbbls) of crude, 0.15 MMbbls of gasoline and 1.587 MMbbls of distillate.


Prior to the EIA data release, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reportedly estimated that crude inventories dropped by 5.8 MMbbls during the week ended May 5, and diesel inventories were drawn down by 1.2 MMbbls. However, the API data showed a significant build in gasoline inventories of 3.2 MMbbls, which placed pressure on gasoline prices. The EIA data was regarded as bullish for both products and crude.


WTI crude prices surged up to $48/b this morning. WTI opened at $47.39/b today, a strong recovery of $1.21, or 2.62%, above yesterday’s opening price. Current prices are $48.00/b, an increase of 67 cents above yesterday’s closing price.


Diesel opened at $1.4765/gallon in today’s trading session. This was an increase of 3.2 cents (2.22%) above yesterday’s opening price. Current prices are $1.4894/gallon, an increase of 1.4 cents from yesterday’s closing price. Diesel prices opened 17.8 cents per gallon, or 10.8%, lower than they were four weeks ago.


Gasoline opened at $1.5439/gallon today, a major jump of 5.9 cents, or 3.97%, from yesterday’s opening. Prices are $1.558/gallon currently, an increase of 1.84 cents above yesterday’s close. Despite the recovery, today’s gasoline prices opened at 22 cents/gallon lower than they were four weeks ago.