US Department of Energy

Published at 17:07 12 Jun 2019 by . Last edited 11:18 22 Aug 2019.

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Extract from crude oil:

Total liquids stocks have built by 88 mb since March, with crude building by 36 mb. The latest data showed a 2.2 mb rise in crude stocks despite still-high crude exports (3.1 mb/d), an easing in imports to 7.6 mb/d and runs picking up above 17 mb/d. On a days-of-cover basis, the US crude oil balance has stubbornly stayed at around 28.5 days, delaying the seasonal drop that usually begins in April. The adjustment factor (which is the balancing item) printed four straight readings over 0.8 mb/d in the weeklies before easing to 0.6 mb/d this week, alone generating 29 mb of builds, casting much doubt on the source of this oversupply and the extent of the builds. The other reason the recent crude builds have raised eyebrows is that they are completely at odds with the strength and backwardation across global and USGC grades. We have already mentioned how growing volumes of NGLs and condensates (some of which are being blended into the crude stream and some which are being incorrectly accounted for as crude stocks), and smaller stripper wells, could underpin this adjustment factor consistently (see Data Review: Department of Energy, 8 May 2019), but a portion of this error likely relates to trade flows as well. Indeed, volatility in some of the preliminary import estimates from Canada, Colombia and Iraq could be contributing to this error factor, while intermittent weather patterns across the US could be affecting export readings, possibly inflating it. It is also important to note that the US Memorial Day holiday on 27 May could have led to filing inaccuracies that will be corrected over the next few weeks, even though this does not explain the entire adjustment factor. If the error factor turns negative (or corrects lower) this month, crude stocks will fall back to seasonal averages.

Extract from oil products:

US gasoline stocks rose by 0.8 mb w/w to 234.9 mb, led by a 1.7 mb w/w build on the USGC that took regional stocks to a 6.8 mb surplus to the five-year average. With USGC refineries returning from maintenance, gasoline production should continue to be strong. Valero’s Houston refinery restarted its 72 thousand b/d FCC unit this week, for instance. USEC gasoline stocks dropped by 1.6 mb w/w to 63.5 mb, leaving inventories at a 2.1 mb y/y deficit. A two-week outage of the 50 thousand b/d FCC at PES’s Philadelphia refinery should keep RBOB supplies relatively tight at the prompt though imports in the week to 14 June are likely to be more than 0.1 mb/d higher than the 0.64 mb/d inflows into PADD 1 reported for the week to 7 June.

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