Critical EIA Oil Inventory Data Faces Further Delays

The Energy Information Administration will not release any further data, the agency said in an update on highly anticipated inventory numbers due to be released last Wednesday.

The data was not released last week after the EIA discovered “a voltage irregularity, which caused hardware failures on two of our main processing servers.”

This failure prevented the EIA from processing and releasing several reports last week, including its highly sought-after weekly State of Oil report, which not only publishes crude oil inventory data in the United States, but also gasoline and diesel inventories, as well as refinery utilization figures. Also missing last week were weekly U.S. crude oil production numbers.

The EIA did not provide a timeline for releasing the data, or comment on whether their systems would be operational to release this week’s State of Oil report.

Last week, the oil industry had to rely on inventory figures from the American Petroleum Institute, which surveys the same companies and uses the same form to collect the data. But due to the way this data is modeled, there are differences in the end result.

“We will continue to provide timely updates as we bring our systems back online and share a schedule for our product releases as soon as possible,” the EIA said in its statement on its website.

Last Tuesday, the API reported an increase in crude oil inventories of 5.607 million barrels and an increase in gasoline inventories of 1.216 million barrels. Distillates fell 1.656 million bpd.

The delay prompted an outpouring of angry reactions on Twitter after today’s update as the market tries to assess the state of the market as gasoline prices remain uncomfortably high for consumers and for the current administration as the midterm elections approach.

API data is still due for release on Tuesday.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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