Wednesday's EIA report showed that U.S. crude oil inventories as of February 10 were +7.3% above the seasonal 5-year average, gasoline inventories were -4.9% below the seasonal 5-year average, and distillate inventories were -15.3% below the 5-year seasonal average. US crude oil production in the week ended February 10 was unchanged w/w at a 2-3/4 year high of 12.3 million bpd, which is only 0.8 million bpd (-6.1%) below the Feb-2020 record-high of 13.1 million bpd.
On February 10, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that crude oil stockpiles had risen by 16.3 million barrels in the previous week. Currently, the inventory is at 471.4 million barrels, which is 8% higher than the five-year average for this time of year. The EIA also reported gasoline inventories increasing by 2.3 million barrels, while distillate inventories fell by 1.3 million barrels.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the international growth of oil demand is predicted to be largely driven by China, with an increase of almost 900,000 bpd in 2021. In its latest monthly report, OPEC revised its 2023 oil demand projections up to 2.3 million barrels daily, representing a 100,000-bpd change from last month’s forecast.
Oil prices dropped on Tuesday after the US announced plans to sell more inventory from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, adding to the global market's already-volatile crosscurrents in supply and demand. On Monday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) experienced a volatile session and decreased close to US$79 per barrel. In accordance with a budget mandate from 2015, the United States is planning to unload 26 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Meanwhile, US crude lost 0.4% on Wednesday, while Brent declined 0.2% away from multi-week highs. The US Department of Energy announced that it will be releasing 26 million barrels of its strategic reserves between April and June to control prices. In addition, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will fall to its lowest level in over 40 years as a result of the administration’s decision to move forward with the sale.
0. “Crude Falls On Dollar Strength And Surge In EIA Crude Inventories” Barchart, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.barchart.com/story/news/14237607/crude-falls-on-dollar-strength-and-surge-in-eia-crude-inventories
1. “USOIL Shrugs Off US Stockpile Expansion, Helped by China Optimism” FXCM, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.fxcm.com/markets/insights/usoi-shrugs-off-us-stockpile-expansion-helped-by-china-optimism/
2. “Oil rates rise with optimistic China request forecast” MENAFN.COM, 16 Feb. 2023, https://menafn.com/1105584487/Oil-rates-rise-with-optimistic-China-request-forecast
3. “Oil prices drop as the US plans to sell more oil from strategic reserve” Markets Insider, 14 Feb. 2023, https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/commodities/oil-prices-spr-crude-petroleum-reserve-energy-global-market-supply-2023-2
4. “Crude Oil Dips as US Dollar Finds Firmer Footing Ahead of CPI. Where to for WTI?” DailyFX, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.dailyfx.com/news/crude-oil-dips-as-us-dollar-finds-firmer-footing-ahead-of-cpi-where-to-for-wti-20230213.html
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7. “Oil Retreats on US Plan to Sell More Oil From Strategic Reserve” Bloomberg, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-02-13/oil-drops-on-us-plan-to-sell-more-oil-from-strategic-reserve