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NGLs Week is PetroChem Wire's comprehensive summary of price trends, upstream and downstream costs, operations news and supply/demand forecasts. The report contains everything you'll need to understand what's happening in the NGL markets.

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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX mixed as oil supplies drop to two-year low

HOUSTON, December 20, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures were mixed early Wednesday, despite government figures that showed a decrease in crude stocks.

Crude inventories are at their lowest level since October 2, 2015; the weekly draw figure is the biggest since August 11.

Domestic crude oil production remains healthy and crude exports are very strong; gasoline stocks have returned to pre-Harvey levels but distillates are still very low vs. last year. Twenty percent of the distillate market is heating oil, still a popular choice for homes (unable to get natural gas) in the northeast.

As of 10:03 am CST, January NYMEX WTI was up $0.03/bbl at $57.59/bbl; January gasoline rose 2.20 cpg to 171.86 cpg; and December diesel decreased 0.04 cpg to 193.95 cpg.

Crude inventories fall 6.5 million barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending December 15 showed a 6.5 million barrel decrease in commercial crude inventories to 436.5 million barrels (“in the middle of the average range,” per the EIA).

Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.789 million b/d, up 9,000 for the week, and 1.003 million higher than the same period last year.

Imports of crude were up 471,000 b/d to 7.8 million on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.4 million b/d, down 6.2% compared with last year's levels at this time.

Total gasoline imports were put at 487,000 b/d, up from 483,000 last week; for the same period last year the figure was 447,000. Distillate imports were 380,000 b/d, up from 140,000 on the week; the figure for last year was 211,000 b/d (typically the US imports products to the US East Coast and exports from the US Gulf Coast).

Total product demand rises 2.6%

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 20.3 million b/d, up 2.6% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were up 1.2 million barrels to at 227.8 million (“near the upper limit of the average range”), only 1.0 million below last year. Gasoline demand was 9.0 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 0.4% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks totaled 128.8 million barrels (in the lower half of the average range), higher by 800,000 compared with last week, and 24.7 million below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.0 million b/d, off 1.2% compared with the same period last year.

Propane stocks fall 3.3 million barrels

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 71.3 million barrels (in the middle of the average range), down 3.3 million on the week, but lower by 21.2 million versus last year.

Total US refinery crude inputs on the week averaged 17.1 million b/d, higher by 111,000, 94.1% of capacity, higher by 0.7% percentage points. In PADD 3 (the Gulf Coast) runs were up 1.0 percentage points to 95.9%.

Also, net exports of all products were put at 3.214 million b/d, up 928,000 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 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 10.695 million. Distillate demand was 4.0 million b/d, production at 5.206 million.

Crude exports rise 772,000

Exports of crude oil were 1.858 million b/d (third highest all time), up from 1.086 million last week; one year ago the figure was 557,000. -- Robert Sharp

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