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POST DOE WRAP: Crude, gasoline fall on inventory gain; production drops

HOUSTON, April 13, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were mixed early Wednesday after government figures showed a dramatic increase in crude inventories, while gasoline stocks fell.

The US remains very long in crude, gasoline, and diesel. Refinery runs decreased, probably attributable to maintenance and two fires in the Gulf Coast. Gasoline demand is good, but exports of products look anemic.

As of 9:57 am CST, May NYMEX WTI was down $0.29/bbl to $41.88/bbl, May gasoline fell 0.99 cpg to 152.44 cpg, but May diesel was up 0.22 cpg to 127.81 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending April 8 showed a 6.6 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 536.5 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 8.977 million b/d, down 31,000 b/d for the week, and 407,000 b/d lower versus the same period last year.

Eighth Week of Production Declines

This is the eighth week in the past nine that crude production has fallen, although inventories built.

Imports of crude were up 686,000 b/d to 7.9 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.8 million b/d, an increase of 4.1% compared to last year at this time.

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.7 million b/d, up 3.2% versus the same period last year.

Gasoline inventories were down 4.2 million barrels to 239.8 million (still “well above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Demand was 9.4 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 5.7% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks rose 0.5 million barrels to 163.5 million (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 7.1% to 3.7 million b/d compared to the same period last year.

Propane/Propylene Supplies Gain

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were up 2.8 million barrels to 67.7 million, 7.7 million over last year.

Total US refinery inputs were 15.9 million b/d, down 492,000 b/d compared to the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were down 2.2% on the week, put at 89.2% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), runs fell 1.9% to 93.2%.

Also, net exports of all products were put at 1.615 million b/d, up 145,000 b/d for the week, which is still a low number compared to the more than 2 million b/d levels seen recently. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable. -- Robert Sharp

To keep up with the day's news and prices in refined products, gasoline blendstocks and refinery chemicals, click here to check out the PCW Daily Refinery Focus

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