April 27, 2020 [Argus – Published on April 27, 2020] – Logistics company Kinder Morgan’s refined products storage is “filling up rapidly” as fuel demand plummets by as much as 45pc this month, the company said today.
The operator of 1,600 miles of western US products pipelines under the SFPP system and the 3,100-mile Plantation system across the US Gulf coast estimates that second quarter volumes would hold at levels already 40-45pc lower than previously budgeted volumes because of reduced demand from efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Kinder Morgan contracted 68pc of the 2.3mn bl of predominantly fuel storage space available at the beginning of the quarter. The 727,000 bl that remained were generally small chemical tanks, president of terminals John Schlosser said on a quarterly earnings call.
“We expect those to shrink as the month goes on and get to zero,” Schlosser said. The company saw little interest among its customers in converting products storage or Jones Act tankers in clean service to crude.
The Jones Act fleet under contract was generally too small to be used economically as floating storage, the company said. Demand for on-land storage remained in products, chief executive Steve Kean said.
“That’s where most of our tankage is,” Kean said. “It is filling up rapidly.”
Kinder Morgan moved 1.6mn b/d of gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and ethanol through its system in the first quarter, flat to the same period of 2019. Demand was stronger in January and February before falling by 8.5pc in March as communities across the US began restricting travel and encouraging residents to stop commuting to slow the coronavirus.
Volumes through its pipeline and terminal systems would rise through the end of the year, to 10-12pc below budgeted levels for the third quarter and by 5-6pc in the fourth quarter, according to the outlook published today.
“On the refined product volumes specifically, we believe this is not a permanent change,” Kean said. “There are all kinds of views about how long is temporary and when we will get to the other side, but we will get there.”
Click on the button and register to get instant access to actionable tank storage industry data