US Weekly Crude Oil Stocks Up 2.35Mln Barrels, Defying Forecasts for Smaller Build - EIA
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US crude oil stockpiles rose strongly for a second week in a row overshooting forecasts as oil production and refiners’ utilization returned to near-normal levels after the extended effects of Hurricane Ida, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.
Crude stockpiles rose by 2.35 million barrels in the week to October 1, following through with the 4.58-million build in the previous week to September 24, the EIA said in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report.
Analysts polled by US media had forecast a build of just around 1.0 million barrels. Prior to the past two weeks, crude stockpiles fell by around 10 million barrels over a three-week span after end-August Hurricane Ida disrupted crude production on the US Gulf Coast of Mexico, forcing refiners to draw strongly from inventories.
Ida initially shut down more than 90% of oil and gas production facilities on the Gulf prior to its August 29 landfall. As late as September 23, some 16.2% of production in the Gulf remained inaccessible to refiners, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the government agency responsible for keeping track of the situation.
“This latest EIA dataset is confirmation that the extended impact of Hurricane Ida is finally over,” John Kilduff, founding partner at New York energy hedge fund Again Capital, told Sputnik. “We will likely see stronger crude builds from here.”
The EIA also raised its production estimates for US crude to 11.3 million barrels per day for the week to October 1 from a previous 11.1 million daily. It was the second straight week of higher adjustments to crude production made by the agency, which raised output estimates by 500,000 barrels per day in the previous week.
Refinery utilization, meanwhile, stood at 89.6%, not far off the 90%-92% level common for this time of year.
Crude stockpiles weren’t the only estimates that analysts missed in their forecasts.
The EIA said gasoline inventories rose by 3.26 million barrels during the week to October 1, versus the forecast build of 400,000 barrels. In the previous week, stockpiles of motor fuel rose by 3.48 million.
Inventories of distillates, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 396,000 barrels in the latest week against an expected deficit of 750,000, data showed.