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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures fall after crude inventory increase

HOUSTON, March 8, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were down Wednesday after government figures showed a marked increase in crude stocks.

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

As of 12:38 pm CST, April NYMEX WTI was down $2.13/bbl to $51.01/bbl; April gasoline was off 1.90 cpg to 166.08 cpg and April diesel was down 4.13 cpg to 157.26/gal.

Crude inventories up 8.2m barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending March 3 showed an 8.2 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 528.4 million barrels (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.088 million b/d, up 56,000 b/d for the week, and 10,000 b/d higher versus the same period last year.

This is the ninth week in a row that crude stocks have increased.

Imports of crude were up 561,000 b/d to about 8.2 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.9 million b/d, a decrease of 1.7% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports fall to 242,000 b/d

Gasoline imports were put at 242,000 b/d, down from 457,000 b/d the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 565,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 266,000 b/d, up from 210,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 133,000 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 19.6 million b/d, down 1.3% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were down 6.6 million barrels to 249.3 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), 1.1 million barrels below last year. Demand was 8.8 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 6.1% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks down 2.7 million barrels

Distillate stocks totaled 161.5 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range”), down 2.7 million compared with last week, and 900,000 barrels above last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.0 million b/d, up 12.6% compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 45.1 million barrels (“in the middle of the average range”), down 4.1 million barrels the week, and lower by 17.2 million barrels versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 15.5 million b/d, down 172,000 b/d compared with the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were down 0.1% on the week, put at 85.9% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were up 0.8% to 88.8%.

Exports increase 739,000 b/d

Also, net exports of all products was put at 3.031 million b/d, up 739,000 b/d for the week, a very bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 8.8 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 9.844 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.0 million b/d, but production was 4.773 million b/d. -- Robert Sharp

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