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Cushing Crude Oil Inventories: What Does the Future Hold?


Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:52 a.m. ET

Cushing crude oil inventories 

Bloomberg surveys projected that Cushing crude oil inventories fell by 0.7 MMbbls (million barrels) for the week ending June 3—compared to the previous week. Market intelligence company Genscape reported that Cushing crude oil inventories fell by 1.1 MMbbls for the same period. Genscape added that Cushing crude oil inventories fell by 291,000 barrels per day between June 4 and June 6, 2016. The decrease could benefit crude oil prices. For more on crude oil prices, read the previous part of the series.

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EIA’s Cushing crude oil inventories  

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) reported that Cushing crude oil inventories fell by 0.7 MMbbls to 66.9 MMbbls for the week ending May 27 from the previous week. Cushing crude oil inventories hit 68.3 MMbbls for the week ending May 13—the highest level for Cushing crude oil inventories ever! For more on nationwide crude oil inventories, read the previous part of the series.

Storage capacity

Cushing, Oklahoma, is the delivery point for crude oil futures contracts trading on NYMEX. It’s also the largest crude oil storage hub in the US. Cushing’s crude oil storage capacity is 73 MMbbls. New pipelines coming online in 2014 and 2015 led to the rise in Cushing crude oil inventories.

Near-record Cushing crude oil inventories 

Cushing crude oil inventories are 14% more than the same period in 2015. Near-record Cushing crude oil inventories could limit the upside for crude oil prices. Multiyear low crude oil prices impact oil producers’ margins like Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO), WPX Energy (WPX), and Goodrich Petroleum (GDP).

Uncertainty in the crude oil market also impacts ETFs like the ProShares Ultra Oil & Gas (DIG), the Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE), the United States Brent Oil ETF (BNO), and the iShares US Oil Equipment & Services (IEZ).

Next, we’ll take a look at the latest update on the US crude oil rig count. 


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