Can We Expect A Big Draw In Crude Inventories Anytime Soon?

14 Apr 2017   Oil Supply, Shale Oil

With shale producers adding rigs every week, output is rising and so are stockpiles which weighs on prices and curbs their upward potential, ruining OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market.  That’s good news for bears and bad news for bulls, but according to RBC commodity analysts, it is not so much the growing production which is hurting the price rise. It is refinery runs, which have been lower over the first quarter of the year because of maintenance season.  In fact, the RBC analysts have estimated that lower refinery runs – below 90 percent of capacity – in the first quarter have accounted for the bulk of the inventory increase, a hefty 64.2 percent of it, while rising production only accounted for 11.5 percent. Where did the rest of the stockpiles increase come from? Imports accounted for 20.8 percent of it, and the strategic petroleum reserve accounted for the remaining 3.5 percent. When they wrote their estimates, the analysts were confident that, as maintenance season ends, inventories will begin to fall. However, this is not yet happening, despite the Energy Information Administration reporting refinery runs of over 90 percent for the last two weeks.

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