By March 29, 2017 Read More →

US crude stocks build as products draw down: EIA

US crude stocks

The Energy Information Administration reports US crude stocks increased last week, but less than expected. 

US crude stocks up by 867,000 barrels

US crude stocks rose less than anticipated last week while gasoline and distillate inventories fell, according to the weekly report issued by the Energy Information Administration.

The EIA reported crude inventories rose 867,000 barrels in the week ending March 24, lower than analysts’ expectations of 1.4 million barrels.  Data showed total US crude stocks were pegged at a record-high 534 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub fell by 220,000 barrels and US crude imports were down by 534,000 b/d.

Gasoline and distillate stocks were down more than expected due to an increase in refinery run rates as the industry wrapped up refinery maintenance season.  Gasoline stocks were at 240 million barrels, and have fallen 7.5 per cent over the past six weeks.

Refinery crude runs increased by 425,000 b/d as utilization rates increased 1.9 percentage points to 89.3 per cent of total capacity.

“A little surprised by the magnitude of refined product draws, but gratified,” Keith Barnett, senior vice president at ARM Energy told Reuters. “These stats help take away the bearish pall that has been cast over the crude market.”

The EIA reported gasoline stocks fell by 3.7 million barrels, more than the 1.9 million barrel drop anticipated.  Distillate inventories, including diesel and heating oil, fell by 2.5 million barrels, more than analysts’ expectations of 1.2 million barrels.

In an interview with Reuters, John Kilduff, partner at energy bridge fund Again Capital said “The large decline in gasoline inventories was notable because it came despite merely decent demand.”

Following the release of the report, US energy prices rose, led by gasoline futures up by 2 per cent to a three-week high of $1.6669/gallon by 10:54 a.m. EDT.  US crude futures were up by 1.5 per cent to $49.09/barrel and crack spreads also increased as product inventories declined faster than crude stocks.

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