EIA crude oil inventories report
On Wednesday, November 25, 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration published its weekly crude oil, distillate, and gasoline inventories report. The EIA reported that crude oil inventories rose by 1 MMbbls (million barrels) to 488.2 MMbbls for the week ending November 20, 2015. Market surveys estimated that crude oil inventories would rise by 1.2 MMbbls for the week ending November 20, 2015. The less-than-expected inventory increase led to the rise in crude oil prices.
Refined products inventories and estimates
The EIA report added that US gasoline inventories rose by 2.5 MMbbls for the week ending November 20, 2015. Industry surveys estimated that gasoline inventories would rise by 0.94 MMbbls for the same period. Likewise, US distillate inventories rose by 1 MMbbls for the week ending November 20, 2015. Market surveys projected distillates inventories could fall by 0.417 MMbbls for the same period. Crude oil inventories and refined products inventories rose due to the rise in US imports and improved refinery utilization.
US crude oil imports rose by 365,000 bpd (barrels per day) to 7.3 MMbpd (million barrels per day) for the week ending November 20, 2015, compared with the previous week. Monthly US crude oil imports averaged 7.2 MMbpd. This is 0.1% lower than last year’s levels during the same period. Meanwhile, US refineries operated at 92% of their operable capacity for the week ending November 20, 2015, compared to 90.3% with the previous week. The increased refinery utilization led to the rise in the US refined products inventory.
Impact on oil producers
US crude oil inventories rose for the ninth straight week. During this period, US inventories added 34 MMbbls. The record US inventory and gasoline and distillates inventories will add pressure to crude oil prices. The collateral damage of crude oil prices affects US energy producers like Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO), Noble Energy (NBL), Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR), and Apache (APC). The volatility in the oil and gas market affects ETFs such as the Fidelity MSCI Energy Index (FENY), the ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Crude Oil ETF (SCO), the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), and the Select Sector SPDR Fund ETF (XLE).