Cape Times


- I Reuters

US CRUDE oil inventorie­s last week fell to their lowest in nearly three years while petrol stockpiles rose, the Energy Informatio­n Administra­tion (EIA) said yesterday, as the industry continued to recover after Hurricane Ida.

Crude inventorie­s dropped by 3.5 million barrels in the week to September 17 to 414 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectatio­ns in a Reuters poll for a 2.4 million-barrel drop. Inventorie­s now sit at their lowest levels since October 2018, and that tightness, along with strong demand, has helped drive oil prices higher.

Weekly figures on refining activity and oil production showed a return to pre-hurricane activity. Crude production jumped 500 000 barrels a day (bpd) in the week to 10.6 million bpd, as Gulf offshore facilities resumed operations.

Refinery crude runs increased by 960 000 bpd in the last week, with utilisatio­n rates up 5.4 percentage points to 87.5 percent of capacity as refiners restarted key units.

Overall product supplied jumped as a result to 21.1 million bpd, and for the past four weeks, product supplied – a proxy for demand – averaged nearly 21 million bpd, roughly in line with pre-pandemic levels.

Overall oil prices were stronger on the day, with US crude up 1.4 percent to $71.47 a barrel, while Brent gained 1.4 percent to $75.43 a barrel as of 4.47pm.

Undercutti­ng the optimism, US petrol stocks rose by 3.5 million barrels to 221.6 million barrels, compared with expectatio­ns for a 1.1 million-barrel drop.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2.6 million barrels versus expectatio­ns for a 1.2 million-barrel drop.

Net US crude imports rose last week by 519 000 bpd, the EIA said.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 1.5 million barrels in the last week, the EIA said.

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