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Weekly Oil Storage Report - The End Is Near


  • The EIA reported a bearish oil storage report with crude storage build higher than we expected.
  • Higher U.S. oil production and lower refinery throughput explained the difference in our forecast, +1.76 mil bbls vs. +3.019 mil bbls.
  • For next week, we have a preliminary forecast of +2.63 million bbls.
  • Crude storage will reach the new five-year average soon.
  • We are currently forecasting two more crude storage builds before the steady decline starting toward the second half of March.

Welcome to the weekly oil storage report edition of Oil Markets Daily!


This week's EIA oil storage was bearish. The crude storage build of 3.019 million bbls was higher than our estimate last week of +1.76 million bbls. The drop in exports was expected as the EIA looks to have counted the barrels that were being exported out in the Feb. 23 week in the Feb. 16 week. Refinery throughput was almost 100k b/d lower than we expected, but production came in about ~100k b/d higher than we expected. The adjustment factor was also positive, explaining the differences in our forecast and what the EIA reported.

This also coincided with the EIA 914 report that showed U.S. oil production fall 108k b/d month over month. But as we explained in a previous EIA 914 article, the decline was seasonal and U.S. oil production growth remains on track. As a result of the recent positive adjustment, we have February U.S. oil production tracking 10.327 million b/d. We have made the adjustments in our storage forecast, which you can see in the crude section below.

Cushing balances dropped 1.218 million bbls week over week. Storage is now sitting at 28.785 million bbls. Gasoline storage increased 2.483 million bbls week over week, which was bearish compared to the five-year average draw of 1.959 million bbls. Distillate storage change was bullish with a draw of 960k bbls vs. a five-year average change of +28k bbls.

Total liquid stockpile came in higher week over week by 3.726 million bbls compared to the five-year average of 1.22 million bbls. Refinery throughput came in lighter than we expected at 15.882 million b/d. U.S. crude production increased to 10.283 million b/d with Lower 48 production increasing to 9.772 million b/d, or 10k b/d week over week.


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