Weekly DOE Oil Charts - September 22, 2017

Conclusion: This weeks DOE statistics remained impacted by Hurricane Harvey, but the dust slowly settles. While stocks remain in draw mode, and surprisingly, crude stocks drew, we need to see how imports develop over the coming weeks. However, given the large WTI-BRT spread, we expect this to have some medium term effect on net imports. Overall, we continue to expect larger petroleum draws going into 4Q17, which should support structure but also flat price, particularly WTI.

  • Total stocks drew 5.9mb, 4mb more than normal. Howeer, propane accounted for 2.4mb of that draw while it seasonally builds.
  • Interestingly, crude drew 1.8mb even as a further 0.8mb of SPR was released into the market. Gasoline showed a surprise (albeit small) build, distillates drew less than expected.
  • Implied demand moved higher again, to 21.1mb/d, back to the record levels in summer
  • Net imports increased 0.2mb/d as imports rebounded by 0.9mb/d and expoerts by 0.7mb/d. Net imports still remain 0.35mb/d below last years levels, less than earlier this year but this is largely a base effect (in levels, current net imports are very low)
  • Refinery utilization recovered a further 5.4% w-o-w to 88.6%, but intakes are still well below the record levels in summer. While some of that is still due to the aftermath of the storm, other refineries are now going into maintenance.
  • Crude output recovered rose a further 37kb/d and is now back at 1.04mb/d y-o-y. As we have written numerous times, we believe the DOE heavily overstates production growth in the weekly data and true production growth is several 100kb/d lower.

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