EIA vs. API: Exploring the Difference

EIA vs. API: Exploring the Difference

4 Min.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) both provide weekly crude oil inventory reports. Oil inventory reports are indicators of the supply and demand for oil, which impacts oil prices. The API is a trade association, whereas the EIA is a governmental agency.


In the United States, there are two weekly reports that divulge data on crude oil inventories. One emanates from the American Petroleum Institute (API), a national trade association, while the other stems from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), an entity within the U.S. Federal Statistical System and a component of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The report from EIA holds higher esteem among the two. This weekly update regarding U.S. crude oil inventories is a pivotal piece of information in the oil market. Oil traders and analysts meticulously monitor shifts in inventory levels, utilizing them in their analytical processes and price forecasts for oil. The reason is that crude oil inventories serve as an effective proxy for gauging oil demand.

A weekly surge in crude oil inventories indicates an imbalance, with demand falling short of supply. Conversely, a decline in oil inventories signifies a demand outpacing supply. Given that supply and demand equilibrium significantly impacts commodity prices, this inventory data holds a direct influence on oil prices. The live oil market often witnesses sharp fluctuations when the week-over-week change in oil inventories deviates significantly from analysts' projections.

The American Petroleum Institute (API)

The API stands as a vital industry organization representing American entities engaged in the production, refining, and distribution of petroleum and its products. Established in 1919, API boasts over 600 members spanning across various sectors of the oil industry, covering exploration, production, marketing, and supply.

Comparing API and EIA Data

API has been publishing the Weekly Statistical Bulletin since 1929. This report encompasses extensive data on U.S. crude inventories, regional crude statistics, refinery operations, and the production, imports, and inventories of major petroleum products. API gathers data from both its members and non-members, accounting for about 90% of the industry. Nonetheless, the EIA's more stringent data disclosures have instilled a perception of greater accuracy in their reports compared to API's.

The API report precedes the EIA's release and often serves as an early indication. Published every Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, this weekly bulletin is a crucial marker for analysts and traders, providing insights into the industry's dynamics.

Although the information provided by the API and EIA often aligns, occasional notable disparities have surfaced between the two reports.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA)

The EIA is a nonpartisan, independent organization with a primary objective of gathering, assessing, and distributing energy-related data within the U.S. This effort aims to foster informed policy decisions, enhance market efficiency, and cultivate public comprehension of energy's intertwining role with the economy and the environment. As a pivotal governmental entity for energy statistics, the EIA refrains from advocating for specific policy alterations, maintaining a neutral stance.

Every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, the EIA unveils its Weekly Petroleum Status Report. However, following a Monday holiday, the release is shifted to Thursday. This report presents a comprehensive overview of oil supply, crude oil, and refined product inventories, incorporating diverse sections detailing regional breakdowns, prices, estimations, and stock levels across various products.

In pursuit of comprehensive data, the EIA mandates prominent oil corporations to complete rigorous oil inventory surveys. Noncompliance or deliberate misconduct is met with stringent repercussions, including civil penalties for inaccurate or delayed data submissions.


API and EIA reports are vital for understanding the oil market's supply and demand dynamics. API's early Tuesday release provides valuable insights, while EIA's Wednesday reports support informed policy decisions and market efficiency. These reports, though distinct in origin and approach, play crucial roles in the energy industry, offering insights into the balance between oil supply and demand that impacts prices.

Energy Information Administration (EIA)
American Petroleum Institute (API)