API Oil Inventories

Source: American Petroleum Institute

Crude oil supplies dropped by an unexpected 12 million barrels during the week ended Feb. 16, the

American Petroleum Institute

(API) reported Wednesday. Analysts were expecting a much smaller decline, according to a

Dow Jones

poll. The data were much more bullish than even the most bullish forecasts. Total supplies of crude oil now stand at 278.72 million barrels, a deficit of 5.77 millon barrels compared to a year ago.

For the same period ended Feb. 16, distillate stocks (heating oil and diesel fuel) increased by 2.46 million barrels, counter to an expected drawdown of a little less than a million barrels. Supplies are now at 116.23 million barrels, a 12.5 million-barrel surplus compared to a year ago.