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POST DOE WRAP: Crude stocks fall, futures are mixed

HOUSTON, October 18, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were mixed early Wednesday, after government figures showed a decrease in crude stocks and a build in gasoline.

As of 10:15 am CDT, November NYMEX WTI was up $0.10/bbl at $51.98/bbl; November gasoline fell 0.36 cpg to 162.65 cpg; and November diesel decreased 0.83 cpg to 180.15 cpg.

Finished gasoline and distillate inventories (diesel and heating oil) are still lower than last year; gasoline seems to be rebuilding, but distillates (diesel and heating oil) look chronically short as winter approaches.

Heating oil (essentially the same product as diesel) is approximated 20% of the US distillate market, with 80% going to diesel fuel.

Crude oil exports have rebounded and were strong at 1.798 million b/d; domestic production fell.

The refining complex shows that things are getting back to normal, which also includes healthy exports.

Crude inventories fall 5.7 million barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending October 13 showed a 5.7 million barrel decrease in commercial crude inventories to 456.5 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA).

Domestic crude oil production was put at 8.406 million b/d, off 1.074 million for the week, and 58,000 lower versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were down 134,000 b/d to 7.5 million on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.4 million b/d, a decrease of 1.9% compared to last year at this time.

Total gasoline imports were put at 690,000 b/d, down from 860,000 last week; for the same period last year the figure was 871,000. Distillate imports were 107,000 b/d, up from 85,000 on the week; the figure for last year was 32,000 b/d (typically the US imports products to the US East Coast and exports from the US Gulf Coast).

Total product demand fell 0.7%

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.9 million b/d, down 0.7% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were up 0.9 million barrels to at 222.3 million (“in the upper half of the average range”), 5.6 million below last year. Gasoline demand was 9.3 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 2.9% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks totaled 134.5 million barrels (in the lower half of the average range”), up 0.5 million, compared with last week, and 21.2 million below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 3.7 million b/d, down 6.4% compared with the same period last year.

Propane stocks fall 100,000

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 78.8 million barrels (“in the lower half of the average range”), off 100,000 on the week, but lower by 23.8 million versus last year.

Total US refinery crude inputs on the week averaged 15.4 million b/d, down 819,000, 89.2% of capacity, lower by 4.7 percentage points. In PADD 3 (the Gulf Coast) runs were off 4.8 percentage points to 83.7%.

Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.815 million b/d, up 324,000 for the week, a bulllish number. The US typically needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 9.3 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 10.031 million. Distillate demand was 3.7 million b/d, but production was 4.784 million.

Crude exports rise

Exports of crude oil were 1.798 million b/d, up from 1.270 million last week; one year ago the figure was 439,000.

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