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How US Crude Oil Imports and Refinery Demand Affect Inventories


Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:53 a.m. ET

US refinery crude oil demand  

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) reported that US refinery crude oil demand fell 182,000 bpd (barrels per day) to 15,370,000 bpd between October 7 and October 14. US refinery demand fell 1.5% week-over-week, but rose 0.2% YoY (year-over-year). US refineries operated at 85% of their operable capacity in the week ending October 14, 2016.

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US crude oil imports 

US crude oil imports fell 954,000 bpd to 6,907,000 bpd between October 7 and October 14, 2016. Imports fell 12% week-over-week and 8% year-over-year.

The fall in US crude oil imports pushed US crude oil inventories down for the week ended October 14 compared to the previous week. However, the fall in refinery demand limited this decline in US crude oil inventories for the same period.

A rise in exports could have also contributed to the fall in inventories. For more on US crude oil inventories, read part three of this series. For more on US crude oil exports, read Are US Crude Oil Exports Game Changers for the Crude Oil Market?

US crude oil production estimates 

The EIA estimates that US crude oil production will fall by 690,000 bpd in 2016 and 140,000 bpd in 2017. The expectation of slowing US crude oil production could benefit US crude oil prices. For more on crude oil prices, please read part one of this series. Higher crude oil prices could have a positive impact on the earnings of oil producers like Matador Resources (MTDR), Swift Energy (SFY), and PDC Energy (PDCE).

Volatility in crude oil prices impacts funds such as the VelocityShares 3x Long Crude Oil ETN (UWTI), the Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE), the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), the ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Crude Oil ETF (SCO), the Fidelity MSCI Energy (FENY), and the PowerShares DWA Energy Momentum ETF (PXI).

In the next part of this series, we’ll take a look at gasoline prices.


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