U.S. commercial crude oil stocks are expected to show a drop of 1.2 million barrels for the reporting week ended August 14, a Platts survey of analysts showed.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is scheduled to release its weekly data at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) Wednesday.
The expectation of a draw comes despite the loss of a 250,000-barrels-per-day (b/d) crude oil distillation unit at BP's Whiting, Indiana, refinery, raising concerns about rising storage levels at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) crude oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.
Analysts were sharply divided, as the prompt month/third month contango* averaged minus $1.76 per barrel (/b) last week, out from $1.08/b during the prior week.
Additionally, analysts pointed to the fact that more refineries are expected to close down for planned turnarounds in the coming weeks.
Analysts said refinery utilization rates will likely show an increase of 1 percentage point over the past week, despite the several refineries closing down for maintenance.
While Whiting and Robinson refineries were taken offline, several other refineries resumed operations after outages, including Marathon's 242,000-b/d refinery in Catlettsburg, Kentucky.