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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures push higher after crude inventory decrease

HOUSTON, May 17, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were up Wednesday after government figures showed a decrease in crude stocks, and a small draw in gasoline.

The US remains long in crude, gasoline, and diesel. Refinery crude inputs nationwide were markedly higher, and exports of products rebounded; domestic gasoline demand remained stubbornly below last year.

As of 10:00 am CDT, June NYMEX WTI rose $0.70/bbl to $49.36/bbl; June gasoline rose 1.04 cpg to 161.47 cpg; and May diesel increased 2.61 cpg to 154.25 cpg.

Crude inventories are lower

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending May 12 showed a 1.8 million barrel decrease in crude inventories to 520.8 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range,” per the EIA). This is the sixth week in a row that inventories have decreased.

Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.305 million b/d, down 9,000 for the week, but 514,000 higher versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were up 970,000 b/d to about 8.6 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.3 million b/d, an increase of 9.3% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports fall

Gasoline imports were put at 696,000 b/d, down from 953,000 the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 691,000. Distillate imports were 161,000 b/d, up from 115,000 on the week; the figure for last year was 52,000 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, down 2.2% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were down 0.4 million barrels to 240.7 million (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), 2.6 million above last year. Demand was 9.3 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 2.6% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks decrease

Distillate stocks totaled 146.8 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range”), off 1.9 million compared with last week, and 5.3 million below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.1 million b/d, down 0.8% compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 42.2 million barrels (“in the lower half of the average range”), up 0.6 million on the week, and lower by 32 million versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 17.1 million b/d, up 363,000 b/d compared with the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries were higher by 1.9 percentage points to 93.4%. In the Gulf Coast, refinery runs were up 2.1percentage points to 96.5% of capacity.

Exports are higher

Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.873 million b/d, up 500.000 for the week, a bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 9.3 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 10.189 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.1 million b/d, but production was 5.042 million. -- Robert Sharp

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