US Department of Energy

Published at 23:00 11 Sep 2012 by . Last edited 11:17 22 Aug 2019.

The latest US weekly data continues to bear the aftermaths of Hurricane Issac. Hurricanes are always a double-edged sword when it comes to the oil markets. On one hand, refineries are forced to close down, thereby reducing demand for crude, but on the other, offshore production is shut in, reducing supply too. Indeed, for the second straight week, refinery runs remained subdued, falling by 0.3 mb/d over the week to 14.3 mb/d, placing the cumulative fall over the past two weeks at 1 mb/d. Refineries are now slowly returning to full operation and we should expect to see runs start to pick up in the coming weeks. Crude oil production, meanwhile, has started to recover slightly, following last week's 0.8 mb/d decline, rising by 40 thousand b/d in the latest data. As of yesterday, only 4% of Gulf of Mexico production remains shut in, although the cumulative loss over two weeks is still a fairly chunky 130 mb. Finally, crude oil imports have started to tick up slowly, rising by 0.53 mb/d w/w in the latest data. We suspect, however, that some of the truncated imports at the Gulf Coast from the Hurricane will continue to work its way through the data in the coming weeks, and could lead to some large swings in crude imports.

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