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Crude, refined products prices a mixed bag as EIA reports large inventory builds

HOUSTON, February 3, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were mixed Wednesday, despite government figures that again showed a huge build in crude and gasoline inventories. There was also a slight draw in diesel stocks.

The US remains very long in crude, gasoline and diesel and refiners are not running as hard as prior weeks and exports of products were up.

As of 9:49 am CST, March NYMEX WTI was up $0.02/bbl to $29.90/bbl, March gasoline was down 1.85 cpg to 98.24 cpg and February diesel was up 1.41 cpg to 102.50 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending January 29 showed an 8.3 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 502.7 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.214 million b/d, down 7,000 b/d for the week, but still up 37,000 b/d vs the same period last year.

Crude production in the US is off its highs seen in the summer, but has not fallen hard as some had expected.

Imports of crude were up 647,000 b/d, to 8.3 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports were 8 million b/d, an increase of 7.2% compared to last year at this time. The EIA noted (as it does every week) that those crude inventories are among the highest recorded in the last 80 years.

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.7 million b/d, up 0.3% versus the same period last year.

Gasoline inventories were up 5.9 million barrels to 254.4 million barrels (“well above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Demand was 8.7 million b/d over the past four weeks, down 0.9% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks were down 0.8 million barrels to 159.7 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 16% to 3.5 million b/d compared to the same period last year.

Distillate stocks were down 0.8 million barrels to 159.7 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 16% to 3.5 million b/d compared to the same period last year. -- Robert Sharp

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