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POST DOE WRAP:  Futures jump after crude and gasoline inventory decrease

HOUSTON, July 19, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were sharply higher Wednesday after government figures again showed a significant decrease in crude stocks.

The US remains long in crude, gasoline and diesel, but some will see inventories as showing a bullish change in what has been a largely bearish market.

As of 9:57 am CDT, August NYMEX WTI was up $0.58/bbl to $46.98/bbl; August gasoline rose 3.13 cpg to 161.02 cpg; and August diesel increased 2.81 cpg to 153.85 cpg.

Refinery crude inputs nationwide were higher and exports of products remained strong; domestic gasoline consumption was still below last year's level, but not by much.

Gasoline inventories drew, as stocks were 9.8 million barrels below last year and 14.9 million over 2015; both numbers have moved in a bullish direction.

Crude inventories down 4.7m barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending July 14 showed a 4.7 million barrel decrease in crude inventories to 490.6 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range,” per the EIA). This is the 13th week in the last 16 in which inventories have decreased.

Over the past three weeks alone, crude inventories have drawn 18.6 million barrels.

Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.429 million b/d, up 32,000 b/d for the week, and 935,000 b/d higher versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were up 386,000 b/d to 8.0 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.8 million b/d, a decrease of 1.7% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports increase to 591,000 b/d

Total gasoline imports were put at 591,000 b/d, up from 528,000 b/d the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 897,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 126,000 b/d, up from 125,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 190,000 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 20.8 million b/d, up 2.1% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were off 4.4 million barrels to 231.2 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range,” per the EIA), 9.8 million below last year. Demand was 9.7 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 0.8% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks totaled 151.4 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range”), down 2.1 million barrels compared with last week, and 1.4 million barrels below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.1 million b/d, up 9.9% compared with the same period last year.

Propane inventories up 3.5m barrels

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 65.7 million barrels (“in the lower half of the average range”), up 3.5 million barrels on the week, and lower by 21.7 million barrels versus last year.

Total US refinery crude inputs averaged 17.1 million b/d, lower by 125,000 b/d, to 94.0% of capacity, down 0.9 percentage points. In PADD 3 (the Gulf Coast) runs were off 0.7 percentage points to 96.0%.

Also, net exports of all products were put 2.833 million b/d, down 58,000 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 9.7 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 10.096 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.1 million b/d, but production was 4.945 million b/d.

Exports of crude oil were 728,000 b/d, down from 918,000 b/d the previous week but up from 598,000 b/d last year at this time. -- Robert Sharp

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