By Alison Sider
U.S. crude-oil stocks are expected to show a decrease in data due Thursday from the Department of Energy, according to a survey of analysts and traders by The Wall Street Journal.
Estimates from 10 analysts and traders showed U.S. oil inventories are projected to have decreased by 3.7 million barrels, on average, in the week ended Dec. 22.
All ten analysts expect stockpiles to fall. Forecasts range from a decrease of 1.5 million barrels to a decrease of 9.1 million barrels.
The closely watched survey from the Energy Information Administration is due at 11:00 a.m. EST Thursday.
Gasoline stockpiles are expected to grow by 600,000 barrels on average, according to analysts. Six analysts expect them to rise and four expect them to fall. Estimates range from a decline of 3 million barrels to an increase of 3 million barrels.
Stocks of distillates, which include heating oil and diesel, are expected to fall by 500,000 barrels. Four analysts expect an increase and six expect a decrease. Forecasts range from a fall of 4 million barrels to an increase of 2.5 million barrels.
Refinery use is seen as remaining unchanged, at 94.1% of capacity. Two analysts expect an increase, three expect a decrease, three expect no change, and two did not report expectations. Forecasts range from a decrease of 0.6 percentage point to an increase of 0.5 percentage point.
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said late Wednesday that its own data for the week showed a 6-million-barrel decrease in crude supplies, a 3.1-million-barrel rise in gasoline stocks and a 2.8-million-barrel increase in distillate inventories, according to a market participant.
Refinery Crude Gasoline Distillates Use
Again Capital -2.1 1.4 -0.7 0.4
Citi Futures -4 1.5 -1 0.5
Commodity Research Group -4.2 2.6 -0.9 -0.6
Confluence Investment Management -2 3 2.5 0
Excel Futures -9.1 -2.2 -2.8 -0.3
First Standard Financial -1.7 -0.15 -0.8
ION Energy -4 -0.5 0.5
Price Futures Group -3.5 -3 -4 0
Ritterbusch and Associates -1.5 1.1 1.1 0
Schneider Electric -5 2.3 1.3 -0.25
AVERAGE -3.7 0.6 -0.5 0.0
Write to Alison Sider at [email protected]