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Cushing Crude Oil Inventories Rose: Second Time in 10 Weeks

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Aug. 21 2017, Published 9:57 a.m. ET

Cushing crude oil inventories 

A preliminary market survey estimates that Cushing crude oil inventories rose on August 11–18, 2017. Inventories rose for the second time in ten weeks. The expectation of a fall in Cushing inventories is bearish for crude oil (XLE) (XOP) prices. However, Cushing inventories are at the lowest level since November 2015, which supported crude oil prices. Prices have risen 4.4% in the past month.

Higher crude oil (IEZ) (SCO) prices are bullish for oil and gas producers and energy ETFs. The top three energy equity ETFs ranked by YTD (year-to-date) returns are mentioned below:

  • The VanEck Vectors Coal ETF (KOL) has risen 18.76% YTD.
  • The VanEck Vectors Oil Refiners ETF (CRAK) has risen 15.76% YTD.
  • The Global X China Energy ETF (CHIE) has risen 12% YTD.
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EIA’s Cushing crude oil inventories 

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) reported that Cushing inventories rose by 0.67 MMbbls (million barrels) to 57 MMbbls on August 4–11, 2017. Inventories rose 1.2% week-over-week but fell by 7.5 MMbbls or 11.6% year-over-year.

US crude oil inventories fell by 8.9 MMbbls to 466.4 MMbbls on August 4–11, 2017—the biggest draw since September 2016.

Impact  

Cushing is the largest crude oil storage hub in the US. It’s also the delivery point for US crude oil futures trading on NYMEX.

Cushing crude oil inventories have fallen ~18% from the peak in April 2017. US crude oil inventories have fallen 13% from the peak. The expectation of a fall in US and Cushing inventories in the coming months could support crude oil (USO) (UCO) prices.

Next, we’ll analyze the how the US crude oil rig count supports oil prices.

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