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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures higher after crude inventory increase

HOUSTON, February 8, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were up early Wednesday despite government figures that showed a huge increase in crude stocks.

The US remains long in crude, gasoline and diesel. Refinery crude inputs were essentially flat and exports of products were healthy, but gasoline demand was surprisingly lower.

As of 10:01 am CST, March NYMEX WTI rose $0.12/bbl to $52.29/bbl; March gasoline was up 3.32 cpg to 152.07 cpg and March diesel was up 1.82 cpg to 164.03/gal.

Crude inventories up 13.8m barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending February 3 showed a 13.8 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 508.6 million barrels. Inventories are at the highest level since the week ended May 13, 2016. Domestic crude oil production was put at 8.978 million b/d, up 63,000 b/d for the week, but 208,000 b/d lower versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were up 1.1 million b/d to about 9.4 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.5 million b/d, an increase of 10.0% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports higher at 811,000 b/d

Gasoline imports were put at 811,000 b/d, up from 488,000 b/d the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 683,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 209,000 b/d, up from 236,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 201,000 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 19.9 million b/d, up 0.3% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were down 0.9 million barrels to 256.2 million barrels (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), and 0.6 million barrels over last year. Demand was 8.3 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 6.0% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks flat

Distillate stocks were put at 170.7 million barrels (“above the upper limit of the average range”), essentially flat to last week, and 9.8 million barrels above last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 3.9 million b/d, up 7.6% compared to the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 62.6 million barrels barrels, down 6.9 million barrels on the week, and lower by 19.0 million barrels versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 15.9 million b/d, down 54,000 b/d compared to the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were off 0.5% on the week, put at 87.7% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were down 1.0% to 86.2%.

Exports increase 109,000 b/d

Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.837 million b/d, higher by 109,000 b/d for the week, a fairly bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 8.3 million b/d, total gasoline production came in 9.804 million b/d. Distillate demand was 3.9 million b/d, but production was 4.802 million b/d. -- Robert Sharp

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