Analysts were split Monday whether this week’s US Energy Information Administration data would show a draw in crude inventories for the week ending June 7. While refinery runs are expected to rise 0.5 percentage points to 92.3% of capacity as plants exit maintenance, boosting crude demand, that demand may be more than easily satisfied by domestic production and imports. Still, crude exports have been steady, which could help pull barrels out of storage.
On average, analysts polled by S&P Global Platts were looking for a crude stock build of 80,000 barrels. Another build would add to the growing US surplus. Stocks at 483.26 million barrels the week ending May 31 were up 44 million barrels from mid-March, and 7.2% above the five-year average, EIA data showed. However, a smaller build might also signal a turning point, and an eventual return to seasonal stock draws.
US crude production averaged 12.4 million b/d the week ending May 31, EIA data showed. Production is likely to remain at that level for the week ending June 7. US crude prices have fallen in recent weeks on concerns that global demand is slowing, but with West Texas Intermediate in the low $50s/b, US producers are generally able to cover their capital budgets and pay shareholder dividends. Permian Basin oil breakevens remain in the low $30s/b, according to Platts Analytics’ Well Economics Analyzer.