Crude oil and distillate futures contracts have pulled back from small gains that followed the Wednesday morning release of the latest U.S. petroleum inventory report, though gasoline prices were advancing in positive territory.

Crude losses were less than $1/bbl at about 11:30 a.m. ET, with the June contract for West Texas Intermediate crude down 27cts to $83.09/bbl while July prices were 23cts lower to $82.33/bbl. Earlier, the front-month contract had climbed as high as $83.71/bbl.

Brent crude saw similar declines, with June prices shedding 21cts to $88.21/bbl and July prices off by 16cts to $87.23/bbl.

The biggest losses of the morning were seen by distillate prices, with May ULSD 2.35cts in the red to $2.5557/gal and June prices 2.21cts lower to $2.5639/bbl. The May contract is about 3cts/gal lower than earlier highs.

RBOB contracts have been climbing since the 10:30 a.m. ET release of inventory and demand data by the Energy Information Administration. The May RBOB contract was ahead 1.66cts to $2.7419/gal while June prices were advancing by 1.35cts to $2.7146/gal. Both contracts were within fractions of a cent of the day's highs.

The losses for crude and distillate come despite seemingly bullish data in the EIA report. The agency reported U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 6.4 million bbl in the week ending Friday, with stockpiles 3% below seasonal averages.

Gasoline inventories were about 600,000 bbl lower, with inventories 4% off the seasonal five-year average. Distillate supplies rose by 1.6 million bbl but remain about 7% below where they are normally at in this time of year.

EIA reported U.S. implied gasoline demand at 8.42 million b/d during the week, a decline of more than 200,000 b/d from the previous week and 1.1 million b/d behind levels seen last year. Distillate demand was 3.55 million b/d, about 110,000 b/d below the previous week and 180,000 b/d off the same period last year.

Refinery utilization in the U.S. rose by less than half a percentage point to 88.5%, EIA reported.

Markets also appear to be shrugging off news of another series of Ukrainian drone attacks on two Russian oil depots on Wednesday.

The decline in oil and diesel prices comes as U.S. equity markets were seeing mixed action Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling about 0.33% heading into Wednesday afternoon while the Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.2%.

This content was created by Oil Price Information Service, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. OPIS is run independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.

--Reporting by Steve Cronin,; Editing by Michael Kelly,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-24-24 1241ET