US Crude Stockpiles Rise, Products Draw Down as Refining Slumps - EIA
02.15.2024 By Tank Terminals - NEWS

February 15, 2024 [Reuters]- U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose last week while gasoline and distillate inventories fell as refining dropped to their lowest levels since December 2022, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.


Crude inventories rose by 12.0 million barrels to 439.5 million barrels in the week to Feb. 9, the EIA said, far exceeding analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.6 million-barrel build.

A combination of major unplanned outages since a mid-January winter storm and planned turnarounds led to a slump in refining to its lowest levels since the last week of December 2022, when Winter Storm Elliott similarly knocked scores of refineries offline.

Refinery crude runs (USOICR=ECI), opens new tab last week fell by 298,000 barrels per day to 14.54 million bpd and refinery utilization rates (USOIRU=ECI), opens new tab decreased by 1.8 percentage points to 80.6% of total capacity.

Refinery rates in the Midwest slid by 12 percentage points in the past week to 83.1%, also the lowest since December. The 435,000-bpd Whiting facility in Indiana, the Midwest’s largest refinery, has been shut since the start of February due to a power outage.

“The refinery utilization rate is a pseudo disaster,” Mizuho analyst Robert Yawger said. “Heavy maintenance is one thing but this is extreme on the refining run rate,” Yawger added.

Oil prices turned negative after the data. Brent crude futures were down 27 cents, or 0.3%, at $82.50 a barrel by 11:40 a.m. ET (1640 GMT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures fell 28 cents, or 0.4%, to $77.59 a barrel.

Gasoline stocks (USOILG=ECI), opens new tab fell by 3.7 million barrels to 247.3 million barrels, the EIA said, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 1.2 million-barrel draw.​

Distillate stockpiles (USOILD=ECI), opens new tab, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.9 million barrels in the week to 125.7 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.6 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.

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