U.S. Crude Stocks Decline by 2.7 Million Barrels, Cushing Storage Hub Sees Build

by Jennifer

According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), U.S. crude stockpiles experienced a potential reduction of 2.7 million barrels during the previous week, marking a second consecutive week of declines. This suggests that robust exports are once again influencing inventory levels.

The API’s weekly inventory report also noted decreases in gasoline and distillate inventories, indicating that these trends extend beyond just crude oil supplies.


Typically, at this time of year, demand for fuels in the United States tends to soften as fewer families undertake road trips with children back in school or college. However, with the refinery industry conducting seasonal maintenance, larger-than-usual declines in fuel stocks are common, and replenishments are limited.


The U.S. crude inventory balance saw a decrease of 2.668 million barrels during the week ending on October 20, in addition to the 4.383 million-barrel decline in crude inventories observed in the prior week, up to October 13, largely due to increased exports.

In contrast to the headline crude draw, the API reported a build of 0.513 million barrels at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub. Cushing serves as the delivery point for U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Storage levels in Cushing have significantly declined this year, raising concerns about the possibility of reaching critical lows that could disrupt operations at the storage hub. In the previous week, Cushing saw a net outflow of 1.005 million barrels.

On the fuel front, the API reported a decrease of 4.169 million barrels in gasoline inventories and a drop of 2.313 million barrels in distillate stocks. In the preceding week, gasoline experienced a deficit of 1.578 million barrels, while distillates saw a 0.612 million-barrel decrease.

The API data serves as a precursor to the official inventory data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which is expected on Wednesday.

Analysts polled by anticipate that the EIA’s report for the past week will show a 0.55 million-barrel drop in crude stockpiles, in addition to the 4.491 million-barrel reduction reported during the week ending on October 13.

In the realm of gasoline inventory, the consensus points to a draw of 0.1 million barrels, compared to the 2.371 million-barrel decline in the previous week. Gasoline is the primary fuel product in the United States.

With distillate stockpiles, the expectation is for a drop of 1 million barrels, as opposed to the previous week’s deficit of 3.185 million. Distillates are processed into heating oil, diesel for various forms of transportation, and fuel for aviation.


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