US adds another 20 million barrels of crude oil storage capacity
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released their bi-annual update on US crude oil inventories and storage capacity this week. The EIA breaks inventory data down by PAD district (shown below), including refineries and tank farms. This latest data reflects the status at the end of September.
The total volume of crude in storage at refineries and tank farms decreased by 29.4 million barrels over the past 6 months, split approximately as follows:
- PADD 1: down 2.6 million
- PADD 2: down 7.6 million
- PADD 3: down 15.6 million
- PADD 4: down 0.6 million
- PADD 5: down 3 million
Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma (which is included in PADD 2) declined by 3.5 million barrels. Note that PADD 3 (in the Gulf Coast) holds more than half of total US inventories.
US CRUDE OIL INVENTORIES BY PAD DISTRICT
Despite declining stockpiles, the country has been building additional storage capacity, adding roughly 19.4 million barrels of tankage in the past 3 months. Not surprisingly, most of that capacity was added in the Gulf Coast.
- PADD 1: added 513,000 barrels
- PADD 2: added 3.5 million barrels
- PADD 3: added 13.2 million barrels
- PADD 4: added 2.0 million barrels
- PADD 5: added 113,000 barrels
Cushing added just under a million barrels of new storage capacity.
CRUDE OIL STORAGE CAPACITY BY PAD DISTRICT
Added capacity and stockpile drawdowns have translated into lower utilization rates, falling from 66% to 59% across all PAD districts. Inventory levels at Cushing have also eased, falling from 87% in March to 79% by the end of September.
Note that inventory volumes in transit (by rail or water), in pipelines and in Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) are excluded from the above figures.
US inventories and shell capacity (total and working volumes) are updated bi-annually by the EIA and posted on our Energy Statistics page under the page "US Inventories". The next update is expected in May 2017.
EIA WORKING AND NET AVAILABLE SHELL STORAGE CAPACITY