Analyzing US Crude Oil and Gasoline Inventories

The API estimates that US gasoline inventories rose by 1.5 MMbbls (million barrels) on July 28–August 4, 2017.

Gordon Kristopher - Author

Aug. 9 2017, Published 9:08 a.m. ET

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Crude oil futures 

September US crude oil (XES) (IEZ) (DIG) futures contracts fell 0.4% to $49.01 per barrel in electronic trading at 2:00 AM EST on August 9, 2017. Prices fell despite the API’s (American Petroleum Institute) bullish crude oil inventory report.

Crude oil prices have fallen 14% year-to-date. Lower crude oil prices have a negative impact on oil and gas producers such as Warren Resources (WRES) and QEP Resources (QEP).

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API’s Cushing crude oil inventories 

The API (American Petroleum Institute) released its weekly petroleum status report on August 8, 2017. It reported that Cushing crude oil inventories rose by 319,000 barrels on July 28–August 4, 2017.

A Bloomberg survey estimated that Cushing crude oil inventories would have risen by 200,000 barrels during the same period. Cushing is the largest crude oil storage hub in the US. As a result, it pressured US crude oil (XLE) (XOP) prices in post-settlement trade on August 8, 2017. For details on the API’s estimates on the nationwide crude oil inventories, read the previous part in this series.

API’s gasoline and distillate inventories 

The API estimates that US gasoline inventories rose by 1.5 MMbbls (million barrels) on July 28–August 4, 2017. A market survey estimated that US gasoline inventories would have fallen by 1.5 MMbbls during this period.

The API reported that US distillate inventories fell by 157,000 barrels on July 28–August 4, 2017. A market survey estimated that distillate inventories fell by 131,000 MMbbls during the same period.

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EIA’s crude oil inventories 

On August 9, 2017, the U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly crude oil and gasoline inventory report at 10:30 AM EST.

A Bloomberg survey estimated that US crude oil inventories would fall by 2.7 MMbbls on July 28–August 4, 2017.


US crude oil inventories have fallen 10% from the peak. US gasoline inventories have fallen ~6% in the last seven consecutive weeks. Likewise, US distillate inventories fell 2% during the same period. The expectation of a fall in crude oil, gasoline, and distillate inventories would support oil, gasoline, and diesel prices.

However, inventories tend to rise in September and October due to the seasonality factor. It suggests that falling inventories aren’t sustainable. It would pressure crude oil prices. Moves in crude oil prices impact oil producers like Warren Resources and QEP Resources.

In the next part, we’ll analyze how US gasoline demand drove oil prices this summer.


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