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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures rise despite crude inventory increase

HOUSTON, February 23, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were up early Thursday despite government figures that showed an increase in crude stocks to record levels.

The US, remains long in crude, gasoline, and diesel. Refinery crude inputs were lower, and exports of products were healthy; gasoline demand remains surprisingly low. Crude imports were down.

As of 10:30 am CST, March NYMEX WTI rose $0.88/bbl to $54.47/bbl; March gasoline was up 2.48 cpg to 154.37 cpg; and March diesel was up 3.43 cpg to 166.39/gal.

Crude inventories are at a record

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending February 17 showed 0.6 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 518.7 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.001 million b/d, up 24,000 for the week, and 101,000 lower versus the same period last year.

However, domestic commercial stocks were up 42.4 million barrels versus last year, and are at their highest level since at least 1983.

Imports of crude were down 1.2 million b/d to about 7.3 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.4 million b/d, an increase of 7.5% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports drop 237,000 b/d

Gasoline imports were put at 367,000 b/d, down from 604,000 the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 566,000. Distillate imports were 129,000, down from 216,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 242,000 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 19.8 million b/d, up 0.7% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were down 2.6 million barrels to 256.4 million (“at the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), essentially flat to last year. Demand was 8.6 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 5.2% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks decrease by 4.9 million barrels

Distillate stocks totaled 165.1 million (“above the upper limit of the average range”), down 4.9 million compared with last week, and 4.4 million above last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.0 million b/d, up 14.4% compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 49.8 million barrels (“in the middleof the average range”), down 3.3 million on the week, and lower by 16.9 million versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 15.3 million b/d, down 187,000 b/d compared with the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were off 1.1% on the week, put at 84.3% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were 0.7% to 84.2%.

Exports are lower

Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.488 million b/d, lower by 31,000 for the week, still a bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 8.6 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 9.429 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.0 million b/d, but production was 4.467 million. -- Robert Sharp

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