United States crude oil stockpiles build as products draw down

Posted March 30, 2017

Crude oil output in February 2016 was revised up slightly to 1.07 million tonnes, from 1.06 million tonnes previously, the General Statistics Office said in its monthly report. Add to that a much-anticipated increase in UAE's March compliance-as well as Libya's faltering with a force majeure that took 252,000 barrels per day out of the mix and lowered crude production in Nigeria, both of which were exempt from the cut-and you have exactly what no one expected OPEC to achieve: darn good compliance.

The following table updates production figures for Vietnam's key energy items this month.

US crude imports fell last week by 543,000 barrels per day.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed a 900,000 barrel increase in crude oil inventories in the week ended March 24, lower than expectations of an average 1 million barrels build from analysts and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

Refinery crude runs rose 425,000 barrels per day as utilization rates gained 1.9 percentage points to 89.3 percent of total capacity, the EIA data showed.

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In the United States, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 20 cents at $48.57 a barrel. OPEC member Libya was excluded from the cuts, agreed late previous year, as the country's oil sector fell victim to the unrest that followed the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Prices gained despite a rise last week in USA crude inventories.

As OPEC and especially Saudi Arabia cut their production, other producers not participating in the cuts have been quick to fill the supply gap and gain market share.

The EIA said US stockpiles, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, had increased by 900,000 barrels from the previous week, while both gasoline and distillate fuel inventories decreased during the frame. With prices unable to go much higher than the low 50s per barrel, OPEC would love to surprise the markets again with flawless compliance, but there are still expected to be a few non-compliers in March that will keep OPEC from reaching 100%.

USA crude oil inventories remain in the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, according to the EIA.