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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures mixed after crude inventory increase

HOUSTON, January 11, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were up early Wednesday despite government figures that showed a marked increase in crude stocks and a build in gasoline.

The US remains long in crude, gasoline and diesel. Refinery crude inputs were higher; exports of products were healthy. One thing that seemed at odds with the rest of the report is that US gasoline stocks are essentially flat to last year, suggesting potential tightness in the spring.

As of 10:08 am CST, February NYMEX WTI rose $0.95/bbl to $51.77/bbl; February gasoline was up 3.93 cpg to 158.60 cpg; and February diesel was up 3.40 cpg to 164.54/gal.

Crude inventories up 4.1m barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending January 6 showed a 4.1 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 483.1 million barrels (“at the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Domestic crude oil production was put at 8.946 million b/d, up 176,000 b/d for the week, and 281,000 b/d lower versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were up 1.9 b/d to about 9.1 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.2 million b/d, an increase of 6.3% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports down to 683,000 b/d

Gasoline imports were put at 683,000 b/d, down from 722,000 b/d the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 446,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 103,000 b/d, down from 99,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 154,000 b/d (typically the US imports products to the US East Coast and exports from the US Gulf Coast).

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.5 million b/d, up 1.3% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were up 5.0 million barrels to 240.5 million barrels (“at the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), but essentially flat to last year. Demand was 8.9 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 0.7% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks rose 8.4m barrels

Distillate stocks were put at 170 million barrels, 8.4 million barrels above last week, and 4.5 million barrels below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 3.6 million b/d, up 7.5% compared to the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were at 79.7 million barrels (still “in the upper half of the average range”), down 4.5 million barrels on the week, and lower by 12.2 million barrels versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 17.1 million b/d, up 418,000 b/d compared to the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were up 1.6% on the week at 93.6% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were up 1.4% to 96.4%.

Exports rise 409,000 b/d

Also, net exports of all products were put at 3.150 million b/d, higher by 409,000 b/d for the week, a bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 8.9 million b/d, total gasoline production came in 9.227 million b/d. Distillate demand was 3.6 million b/d, but production was 5.324 million b/d. -- Robert Sharp

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