Storage tank construction takes a pause south of the border
Late last week, the US Energy Information Administration released its bi-annual Working and Net Available Shell Storage Capacity report, with data for March 2018.
STORAGE CAPACITY UNCHANGED FOR A CHANGE
For the first time since the EIA began reporting data in 2011, both shell and working capacity was unchanged in the first quarter of this year, indicating a slowdown in new tank construction. Working volumes were roughly unchanged in all PADDs, expect PADD 3 (the Gulf Coast) where about 900,000 barrels of new capacity was added.
INVENTORIES ON THE DECLINE
Crude stockpiles declined in the two major refining hubs - PADD 2 (Midwest) and PADD 3 (Gulf Coast). Midwest volumes declined by almost 28 million barrels while the Gulf Coast saw a 21 million barrel drawdown. Inventories at the Cushing storage hub in Oklahoma (included in PADD 2 figures) fell 27 million barrels.
UTILIZATION RATES TAKE A TUMBLE
Total crude storage utilization declined from 56% last September to 49% at the end of March. The biggest declines were seen in the Midwest and Gulf Coast, both falling to about 56% of storage capacity. PADD 4 in the Rocky Mountains region was the only area to see an increase, rising from 63% last September to 71% in the first quarter of this year.
Lower inventory volumes at Cushing resulted in a major drop in utilization rates, falling from 78% to just 45%.
US inventory and storage capacity data is released twice annually in May and November (with data for March and September). Results are posted under the "US Energy Statistics" webpage.
PADD 1 EAST COAST PADD 2 MIDWEST PADD 3 GULF COAST PADD 4 ROCKY MNTS PADD 5 WEST COAST
INVENTORY VOLUMES EXCL. LEASE STOCKS AND VOLUMES IN TRANSIT (TANKERS, RAILCARS, PIPELINE)
UTILIZATION RATES ARE A FUNCTION OF WORKING STORAGE CAPACITY, NOT SHELL CAPACITY.
EIA WORKING AND NET AVAILABLE SHELL STORAGE CAPACITY MAY 2018