April 10, 2020 [Houston Chronicle – Published April 08, 2020] – Crude and gasoline stockpiles soared last week as the near shutdown of the economy sent demand for petroleum plummeting.
Commercial crude inventories surged by 15 million barrels, the biggest increase on record, while gasoline stockpiles climbed by 10 million, the Energy Department reported Wednesday. Gasoline inventories are 10 percent above their average levels for this time of years.
Inventories of other petroleum products also increased; stockpiles of all petroleum products jumped 33 million barrels.
The increases coincided with a plunge in demand. Over the past four weeks, demand for all petroleum products fell by 11 percent from the same period a year ago to 18.3 million barrels a day. Gasoline consumption plummeted 19 percent to 7.2 million barrels a day. Jet fuel demand fell 22 perent.
Oil settled at $25.06 a barrel in New York Wednesday, up 6 percent on hope that the world’s major oil producers will reach a deal to cut production in face of an unprecedented plunge in global energy demand. The drop is the result of social distancing measures and business shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
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