Crude oil inventories  

The US Energy Information Administration (or EIA) released its weekly crude oil and gasoline inventory report on September 20, 2017. It reported that US crude oil inventories rose by 4.6 MMbbls (million barrels) or 1% to 472.8 MMbbls between September 8, 2017, and September 15, 2017. However, US crude oil inventories are down 1.1 MMbbls or 0.2% from the same period in 2016.

A Reuters survey estimated that US crude oil inventories would have risen 3.5 MMbbls between September 8, 2017, and September 15, 2017. WTI (or West Texas Intermediate) crude oil (USO) (UCO) (DWT) prices rose on September 20, 2017, despite the higher-than-expected rise in inventories.

Inventories Are 25% above 5-Year Average

US crude oil (DBO) (SCO) prices are at a four-month high. They have risen 16.4% in the last three months. Prices have risen due to several bullish drivers covered in part one of the series.

Higher crude oil has a positive impact on oil and gas producers (XLE) (XOP) (VDE) (RYE) such as Hess (HES), Sanchez Energy (SN), and Goodrich Petroleum (GDP).

US crude oil inventories by region 

The EIA divides the US into five storage regions. Let’s assess the changes in crude oil inventories between September 8, 2017, and September 15, 2017.

  • East Coast inventories fell by 0.8 MMbbls to 13.8 MMbbls.
  • Midwest inventories rose by 0.8 MMbbls to 143.6 MMbbls.
  • Gulf Coast inventories rose by 3.7 MMbbls to 245.5 MMbbls.
  • Rocky Mountain inventories rose by 0.1 MMbbls to 21.7 MMbbls.
  • West Coast inventories rose by one MMbbls to 48.4 MMbbls.

Impact of US crude oil inventories  

US crude oil inventories are near a seven-week high. Though they are within the five-year range, they’re above their five-year average by 24.7% for the week ending September 15, 2017. US crude oil inventories rose for the third straight week. A rise in US crude oil inventories could pressure crude oil (UWT) (DTO) prices.

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at how US crude oil production impacts crude oil prices.

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