Ahead of the Bell: Fall in crude reserves expected

AP News
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Posted: Dec 23, 2009 6:35 AM

The Energy Department will likely report a 2 million-barrel draw in crude oil reserves on Wednesday for the week ended Dec. 18, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

The Energy Information Administration releases its weekly report at 10:30 a.m. EST.

Platts also expects gasoline stockpiles to rise by 1.3 million barrels, distillate stocks to decline by 2.25 million barrels and refinery utilization to increase 0.55 percentage point to 80.55 percent.

A reading above or below estimates can influence market trading.

Last Wednesday, the EIA said for the week ended Dec. 11 crude inventories fell by 3.7 million barrels to 332.4 million barrels; gasoline inventories rose by 900,000 barrels to 217.2 million barrels; and distillate inventories fell by 2.9 million barrels to 164.4 million barrels.

Last week's crude oil inventory declines exceeded the draw of 2 million barrels analysts expected.