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POST DOE WRAP: Crude, products fall hard after oil stocks rise

HOUSTON, October 17, 2018 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products fell hard Wednesday, after government figures showed a significant rise in crude inventories.

November NYMEX WTI settled lower by $2.77/bbl at $69.75/bbl; November gasoline fell 5.86 cpg to 191.87 cpg, and November diesel dropped 2.91 cpg to 231.11 cpg.

Diesel stocks fell and gasoline stocks drew, but both look well supplied; refinery runs were moderately higher. Exports of products look healthy.

Crude inventories rise 6.5 million barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending October 12 showed a 6.5 million barrel increase in commercial crude inventories to 416.4 million barrels (“2% above the five-year average” per the EIA). It was the fourth consecutive weekly gain, raising inventories to the highest level since the week ended June 29. Stocks have increased by 22.3 million barrels in the past four weeks.

Domestic crude oil production was put at 10.9 million b/d, down 300,000 on the week and up 2.494 million versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were up 218,000 b/d on the week to 7.6 million. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.7 million b/d, up 3.5% compared to last year at this time.

Total gasoline imports were put at 394,000 b/d, down from 693,000 last week; for the same period last year the figure was 609,000. Distillate imports were 165,000 b/d, down from 187,000 on the week; the figure for last year was 107,000 b/d (typically the US imports the greatest volume of products to the US East Coast and exports from the US Gulf Coast).

Total product demand rises 0.4%

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 20 million b/d, up by 0.4% versus the same time last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were off 2 million barrels to 234.2 million (“7% above the five-year average”), and 11.8 million above last year. Gasoline demand was 9.1 million b/d over the past four weeks, down 2.8% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks totaled 132.6 million barrels (“3% below the five-year average”), off 800,000 on the week, and 1.8 million below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.1 million b/d, up 11.5% compared with the same period last year.

Propane stocks fall 2 million barrels

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 82.3 million barrels (“5% below the five-year average”), down 2 million on the week and up 3.5 million versus last year.

Total US refinery crude inputs on the week averaged 16.3 million b/d, up 77,000 b/d to 88.8% of capacity. In PADD 3 (the Gulf Coast) runs were up 1.7% percentage points to 96.9% of capacity.

Net exports of all products were 3.664 million b/d, up 1.173 million on the week, a very bullish number.

The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable: while domestic gasoline demand was put at 9.1 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 10.430 million; distillate demand was 4.1 million b/d, production at 4.815 million.

Crude exports fall 794,000 barrels

Exports of crude oil were 1.782 million b/d, lower by by 794,000 on the week; one year ago the figure was 1.798 million. -- Robert Sharp

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