Last week, US crude oil stocks experienced a significant build, while gasoline and distillate fuel inventories declined due to a continuous decrease in refinery runs, according to recent data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Crude Oil Stocks
The EIA reported that commercial crude-oil stocks, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), increased by 5.5 million barrels to reach 427.4 million barrels by the end of the week on February 2nd. These stocks were approximately 4% below the five-year average for this time of year. The predicted rise by analysts from The Wall Street Journal was only 1.3 million barrels, indicating a larger-than-expected increase.
In addition to commercial stocks, storage in the SPR rose by 615,000 barrels, resulting in a total of 358 million barrels.
Crude Oil Production
After a decline caused by severe winter weather in mid-January, US crude oil production has rebounded for the second consecutive week and is currently estimated at 13.3 million barrels per day. However, the EIA anticipates a decline in production over the coming months, and it is not projected to exceed 13.3 million barrels until early 2025.
Crude Exports and Imports
Crude oil exports decreased by 298,000 barrels per day to 3.6 million barrels per day last week. Conversely, imports increased by 1.3 million barrels per day to reach 6.9 million barrels per day.
These latest figures offer insights into the current state of US crude oil stocks, production, and trade dynamics. As the EIA predicts a future easing of production levels, industry experts will closely monitor these trends in the coming months.
Oil Inventories Remain Steady at Cushing, Oklahoma
Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the Nymex delivery hub, remained relatively unchanged at 28.1 million barrels. This comes as U.S. refineries slightly reduced their capacity use to 82.4% from 82.9% the previous week. While expectations were for refinery runs to increase by 0.4 percentage point from the previous week, the actual figures have shown a slight decline.
Crude Futures Show Modest Gains
Crude futures posted modest gains on Wednesday, with West Texas Intermediate for March delivery up 0.3% at $73.53 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent for April increased by the same percentage to $78.82 a barrel.
Gasoline Stockpiles Decline
Gasoline stockpiles experienced a significant decline of 3.1 million barrels, reaching a total of 251 million barrels, as opposed to the projected build of 300,000 barrels according to the Journal survey. Currently, gasoline inventories are approximately 1% below their five-year average as stated by the EIA. Furthermore, demand for gasoline rose by 663,000 barrels a day to 8.8 million barrels a day.
Distillate Stocks Decrease
Distillate stocks, which primarily consist of diesel fuel, saw a reduction of 3.2 million barrels, resulting in a total of 127.6 million barrels. This decrease puts distillates at 7% below their five-year average. In terms of demand, distillates edged up to 3.8 million barrels a day. The anticipated distillate stock draw was projected to be 2 million barrels.
U.S. Oil Inventory Changes (Week Ending Feb. 2)
- Crude: 5.5 million barrels
- Gasoline: -3.1 million barrels
- Distillates: -3.2 million barrels
- Refinery Use: -0.5 percentage points
Note: Numbers are in millions of barrels, except for refinery use, which is measured in percentage points.