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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures fall after crude inventory increase

HOUSTON, March 1, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were down early Thursday after 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 higher and exports of products were healthy, while gasoline demand remains surprisingly low. Crude imports were down.

As of 10:19 am CST, April NYMEX WTI fell $0.04/bbl to $53.97/bbl, April gasoline was off 2.77 cpg to 170.17 cpg and April diesel was down 0.39 cpg to 163.60/gal.

Crude inventories up 1.5m barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending February 24 showed a 1.5 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 520.2 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.031 million b/d, up 32,000 b/d for the week, and 45,000 b/d lower versus the same period last year.

However, domestic commercial stocks were up 33.5 million barrels versus last year and are at their highest level since at least 1983.

Imports of crude were up 303,000 b/d to about 7.6 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.2 million b/d, an increase of 5.1% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports rise to 457,000 b/d

Gasoline imports were put at 457,000 b/d, up from 367,000 b/d the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 454,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 210,000 b/d, up from 129,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 306,000 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 0.9% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were down 500,000 barrels to 255.9 million barrels (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), 900,000 barrels over last year. Demand was 8.7 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 6.2% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks fall 900,000 barrels

Distillate stocks totaled 164.2 million barrels (“above the upper limit of the average range”), down 900,000 barrels compared with last week, and 600,000 barrels above last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.0 million b/d, up 15.7% compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 49.3 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range”), down 500,000 barrels on the week, and lower by 13.8 million barrels versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 15.7 million b/d, up 393,000 b/d compared with the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were up 1.7% on the week, put at 86.0% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were up 3.8% to 88%.

Exports are lower by 196,000 b/d

Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.292 million b/d, lower by 196,000 b/d 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 9.456 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.0 million b/d, but production was 4.755 million b/d. -- Robert Sharp

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