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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX rises as crude stocks drop to 23-month low

HOUSTON, November 29, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were up early Wednesday after government figures showed that crude stocks dropped to the lowest level in 23 months.

Domestic crude oil production remains healthy but product exports are much healthier; distillate and gasoline stocks increased but are very low compared with last year.

As of 10:00 am CDT, January NYMEX WTI was up $0.19/bbl at $58.18/bbl; January gasoline rose 0.88 cpg to 177.94 cpg; and December diesel increased 0.34 cpg to 195.63 cpg.

Crude inventories fall 3.4 million barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending November 24 showed a 3.4 million barrel decrease in commercial crude inventories to 453.7 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range,” per the EIA). It was the lowest level since the week ended January 8, 2016.

Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.682 million b/d, up 24,000 for the week, and 953,000 higher than the same period last year.

Imports of crude were off 544,000 b/d to 7.3 million on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.6 million b/d, down 1.7% compared to last year at this time.

Total gasoline imports were put at 526,000 b/d, up from 514,000 last week; for the same period last year the figure was 851,000. Distillate imports were 120,000 b/d, down from 190,000 on the week; the figure for last year was 174,000 b/d (typically the US imports products to the US East Coast and exports from the US Gulf Coast).

Total product demand rises 0.9%

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 20.0 million b/d, up 0.9% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were up 3.6 million barrels to at 214.1 million (“in the middle of the average range”), 12.0 million below last year. Gasoline demand was 9.2 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 0.8% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks totaled 127.8 million barrels (in the lower half of the average range”), up 2.7 million, compared with last week, and 26.4 million below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.1 million b/d, up 3.2% compared with the same period last year.

Propane stocks fall 0.6 million barrels

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 73.2 million barrels (“in the lower half of the average range”), down 0.6 million on the week, and lower by 27.6 million versus last year.

Total US refinery crude inputs on the week averaged 17.0 million b/d, up by 165,000, 92.6% of capacity, higher by 1.3% percentage points. In PADD 3 (the Gulf Coast) runs were up 3.8 percentage points to 94.4%.

Also, net exports of all products were put at 4.145 million b/d, up 646,000 for the week, a very bulllish number. The US typically needs to export products to keep inventories manageable. That's the greatest level since Dec. 21, 2016 and the most negative since the Energy Dept. started keeping records.

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 9.2 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 10.222 million. Distillate demand was 4.1 million b/d, production 5.284 million.

Crude exports fall 179,000 b/d

Exports of crude oil were 1.412 million b/d, down from 1.591 million last week; one year ago the figure was 474,000. -- Robert Sharp

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