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Oil Shoots Higher on Crude Inventory Info

Petroleum prices climbed about $2 after hitting a six-month low earlier on Wednesday as U.S. government data showed a much larger than expected draw in crude inventories thanks to strong export demand.

data from the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude stocks fell by 7.1 million barrels in the week to Aug. 12 to 425 million barrels, versus analysts’ expectations of a 275,000-barrel drop in a Reuters poll.

Brent crude rose $1.73, or 1.8%, to $94.07 per barrel late Wednesday morning, after falling to its lowest since February at $91.51 earlier in the session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $2.03 cents, or 2.3%, to $88.46.

U.S crude exports hit five million barrels per day according to EIA data, the highest on record, as WTI has traded at steep discount to Brent and made purchases of U.S. crude more attractive to foreign buyers. In a sign of strong demand, gasoline stocks also drew 4.6 million barrels, much higher than the expected 1.1 million barrel draw.

The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday had flagged a 448,000-barrel draw in crude stocks and 4.5 million barrels in gasoline inventories, according to sources.

Oil has soared in 2022, coming close to an all-time high of $147 in March after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbated supply concerns. Prices have fallen since as those concerns were edged out by the prospect of recession.