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Oil and SPR Reports, Gasoline Imports and Exports, and Gasoline Inventories

Summary:
US oil inventories near 10 year low as Strategic Petroleum Reserve falls to yet another 19 year low; gasoline imports at a 53 week low; gasoline exports at an 82 week low; 3 week gasoline inventory increase is largest on record, RJS, Focusing on Fracking The Latest US Oil Supply and Disposition Data from the EIA US oil data from the US Energy Information Administration for the week ending January 14th indicated that due to a big jump in our oil imports, an ongoing refinery slowdown, and a moderate withdrawal of crude from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, we had enough oil left to add to our stored commercial crude supplies for the first time in 8 weeks and for the 11th time in the past thirty-four weeks….our imports of crude oil rose by an

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US oil inventories near 10 year low as Strategic Petroleum Reserve falls to yet another 19 year low; gasoline imports at a 53 week low; gasoline exports at an 82 week low; 3 week gasoline inventory increase is largest on record, RJS, Focusing on Fracking

The Latest US Oil Supply and Disposition Data from the EIA

US oil data from the US Energy Information Administration for the week ending January 14th indicated that due to a big jump in our oil imports, an ongoing refinery slowdown, and a moderate withdrawal of crude from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, we had enough oil left to add to our stored commercial crude supplies for the first time in 8 weeks and for the 11th time in the past thirty-four weeks….our imports of crude oil rose by an average of 675,000 barrels per day to an average of 6,745,000 barrels per day, after rising by an average of 185,000 barrels per day during the prior week, while our exports of crude oil rose by an average of 655,000 barrels per day to an average of 2,610,000 barrels per day during the week, which together meant that our effective trade in oil worked out to a net import average of 4,135,000 barrels of per day during the week ending January 14th, 20,000 more barrels per day than the net of our imports minus our exports during the prior week…over the same period, production of crude oil from US wells was reportedly unchanged at 11,700,000 barrels per day, and hence our daily supply of oil from the net of our international trade in oil and from domestic well production appears to have totaled an average of 15,835,000 barrels per day during the cited reporting week…

Oil and SPR Reports, Gasoline Imports and Exports, and Gasoline Inventories

Meanwhile, US oil refineries reported they were processing an average of 15,453,000 barrels of crude per day during the week ending January 14th, an average of 120,000 fewer barrels per day than the amount of oil that our refineries processed during the prior week, when refinery throughput had fallen by 293,000 barrels per day, while over the same period the EIA’s surveys indicated that a net of 119,000 barrels of oil per day were being pulled out the supplies of oil stored in the US….so based on that reported & estimated data, this week’s crude oil figures from the EIA appear to indicate that our total working supply of oil from net imports, from storage, and from oilfield production was a rounded 500,000 barrels per day more than what our oil refineries reported they used during the week…to account for that disparity between the apparent supply of oil and the apparent disposition of it, the EIA just inserted a (-500,000) barrel per day figure onto line 13 of the weekly U.S. Petroleum Balance Sheet to make the reported data for the daily supply of oil and the consumption of it balance out, essentially a balance sheet fudge factor that they label in their footnotes as “unaccounted for crude oil”, thus suggesting there must have been a error or omission of that magnitude in this week’s oil supply & demand figures that we have just transcribed…since last week’s EIA fudge factor was at (-934,000) barrels per day, that means there was a 434,000 barrel per day difference between this week’s balance sheet error and the EIA’s crude oil balance sheet error from a week ago, and hence the week over week supply and demand changes indicated by this week’s report are pretty useless…..however, since most everyone treats these weekly EIA reports as gospel and since these figures often drive oil pricing, and hence decisions to drill or complete oil wells, we’ll continue to report this data just as it’s published, and just as it’s watched & believed to be reasonably accurate by most everyone in the industry…(for more on how this weekly oil data is gathered, and the possible reasons for that “unaccounted for” oil, see this EIA explainer)….

Oil and SPR Reports, Gasoline Imports and Exports, and Gasoline Inventories

This week’s 119,000 barrel per day decrease in our overall crude oil inventories left our total supplies at 1,005,847,000 barrels, the lowest level since January 20th 2012, or just days short of a 10 year low….this week’s oil inventory decrease came as 74,000 barrels per day were being added to our commercially available stocks of crude oil, while 193,000 barrels per day of oil were being pulled out of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, part of the first installment from Biden’s plan to release 50 million barrels from the SPR, in order to incentive continued use of US gas guzzlers….including the drawdowns from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve under such politically motivated programs, a total of 64,107,000 barrels have been removed from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the past 18 months, and as a result the amount of oil left in our Strategic Petroleum Reserve has fallen to the lowest since November 15th, 2002or to another new 19 year low of 592,034,000 barrels per day, as repeated tapping of our emergency supplies for political expediency or to “pay for” other programs had already drained those supplies considerably over the past dozen years…based on an estimated prepandemic consumption level of 18 million barrels per day, the US will have roughly 30 1/2 days of oil supply left in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve when the Biden program is complete…

Further details from the weekly Petroleum Status Report (pdf) indicate that the 4 week average of our oil imports rose to an average of 6,433,000 barrels per day last week, which was still 4.7% more than the 6,142,000 barrel per day average that we were importing over the same four-week period last year….this week’s crude oil production was reported to be unchanged at 11,700,000 barrels per day because the EIA’s rounded estimate of the output from wells in the lower 48 states was unchanged at 11,300,000 barrels per day, while Alaska’s oil production was 6,000 barrels per day lower at 455,000 barrels per day but had no impact on the rounded national production total…US crude oil production had reached a pre-pandemic high of 13,100,000 barrels per day during the week ending March 13th 2020, so this week’s reported oil production figure was 10.7% below that of our pre-pandemic production peak, but 38.8% above the interim low of 8,428,000 barrels per day that US oil production had fallen to during the last week of June of 2016…

US oil refineries were operating at 88.1% of their capacity while using those 15,453,000 barrels of crude per day during the week ending January 14th, down from a utilization rate of 88.4% the prior week, and lower than the historical utilization rate for early January refinery operations…the 15,453,000 barrels per day of oil that were refined this week were still 4.7% more barrels than the 14,760,000 barrels of crude that were being processed daily during the pandemic impacted week ending January 15th of 2021, but 8.3% less than the 16,857,000 barrels of crude that were being processed daily during the week ending January 17th, 2020, when US refineries were operating at what was then a more seasonal 90.5% of capacity…

Oil and SPR Reports, Gasoline Imports and Exports, and Gasoline Inventories

Even with the decrease in oil being refined this week, gasoline output from our refineries was again higher, increasing by 114,000 barrels per day to 8,688,000 barrels per day during the week ending January 14th, after our gasoline output had increased by 68,000 barrels per day over the prior week.…however, this week’s gasoline production was still 2.2% less than the 8,885,000 barrels of gasoline that were being produced daily over the same week of last year, and 8.9% less than the gasoline production of 9,535,000 barrels per day during the week ending January 17th, 2020…..on the other hand, our refineries’ production of distillate fuels (diesel fuel and heat oil) decreased by 60,000 barrels per day to 4,728,000 barrels per day, after our distillates output had increased by 177,000 barrels per day over the prior week…even after those decreases, our distillates output was still 4.4% more than the 4,529,000 barrels of distillates that were being produced daily during the week ending January 15th of 2021, but 4.6% less than the 4,954,000 barrels of distillates that were being produced daily during the week ending January 17th, 2020…

Oil and SPR Reports, Gasoline Imports and Exports, and Gasoline Inventories

Even with our gasoline production remaining at depressed levels, our supplies of gasoline in storage at the end of the week rose for the sixth time in eight weeks, after falling each week over the preceding six weeks, increasing by 5,873,000 barrels to 240,748,000 barrels during the week ending January 14th,after our gasoline inventories had increased by 19,089,000 barrels over the prior two weeks…our gasoline supplies increased by less this week because the amount of gasoline supplied to US users increased by 318,000 barrels per day to 8,224,000 barrels per day, after falling by 266,000 barrels per day to an eleven month low the prior week, while our imports of gasoline fell by 198,000 barrels per day to a 53 week low of 391,000 barrels per dayand our exports of gasoline fell by 133,000 barrels per day to a 82 week low of 393,000 barrels per day…after three straight big inventory increases, our gasoline supplies are now 0.6% higher than last January 15th’s gasoline inventories of 240,748,000 barrels, but still about 2% below the five year average of our gasoline supplies for this time of the year…the gasoline inventory increase of 23,962,000 barrels over the past 3 weeks was the largest in any three week period on record, and even exceeded the 4 week inventory increase of 23,952,000 barrels that we saw at the outset of the pandemic lockdowns from mid-March to mid April of 2020..

On the other hand, with the recent decreases in our distillates production, our supplies of distillate fuels decreased for the fourteenth time in twenty-one weeks, falling by 1,431,000 barrels to 127,952,000 barrels during the week ending January 14th, after our distillates supplies had increased by 2,537,000 barrels during the prior week….our distillates supplies fell this week because the amount of distillates supplied to US markets, an indicator of our domestic demand, rose by 807,000 barrels per day to 4,556,000 barrels per day, even as our exports of distillatesfell by 209,000 barrels per day to 683,000 barrels per day, and as our imports of distillates rose by 90,000 barrels per day to 306,000 barrels per day….after twenty-seven inventory decreases over the past forty-one weeks, our distillate supplies at the end of the week were 21.8% below the 163,662,000 barrels of distillates that we had in storage on January 15th of 2021, and about 16% below the five year average of distillates inventories for this time of the year…

Meanwhile, with the refinery slowdown and the big jump in our oil imports, our commercial supplies of crude oil in storage rose for the 8th time in 24 weeks and for the 18th time in the past year, increasing by 515,000 barrels over the week, from 413,298,000 barrels on January 14th to 413,813,000 barrels on January 14th, after our commercial crude supplies had decreased by 4,553,000 barrels over the prior week…after this week’s increase, our commercial crude oil inventories remained about 8% below the most recent five-year average of crude oil supplies for this time of year, but were still 30.6% above the average of our crude oil stocks after the second week of January over the 5 years at the beginning of the past decade, with the disparity between those comparisons arising because it wasn’t until early 2015 that our oil inventories first topped 400 million barrels….since our crude oil inventories had jumped to record highs during the Covid lockdowns of spring 2020 and remained elevated for most of the year after that, our commercial crude oil supplies as of this January 14th were 15.0% less than the 486,563,000 barrels of oil we had in commercial storage on January 15th of 2021, and are now 3.3% less than the 428,106,000 barrels of oil that we had in storage on January 17th of 2020, and also 7.0% less than the 445,025,000 barrels of oil we had in commercial storage on January 18th of 2019…

Finally, with our inventory of crude oil and our supplies of all products made from oil all near multi year lows, we are continuing to track the total of all U.S. Stocks of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products, including those in the SPR….the EIA’s data shows that the total of our oil and oil product inventories, including those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and those held by the oil industry, and including everything from gasoline and jet fuel to propane/propylene and residual fuel oil, fell by 2,840,000 barrels this week, from 1,783,651,000 barrels on January 7th to 1,780,811,000 barrels on January 14th…that left our total supplies less than a million barrels higher than the seven year low of 1,779,614,000 barrels of three weeks ago, or at the 2nd lowest level since August 29th, 2014…..

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