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Oil Inventories Near Breaking Point As API Reports 13 Million Barrel Build

The American Petroleum Institute (API) estimated on Tuesday another large crude oil inventory build of 13.226 million barrels for the week ending April 17 as the demand destruction continues unchecked and stay-at-home orders in the United States drag on.

Today’s inventory build was smaller than the expected 15.15 million barrels.

In the previous week, the API estimated a large build in crude oil inventories of 13.134 million barrels, while the EIA’s estimates were for a build of 19.2 million barrels for that week.

Oil prices were trading down on Tuesday afternoon prior to the API’s data release, although up considerably from Monday when WTI was trading in negative numbers, as was the May 2020 futures contract.

At 4:25 pm EDT on Tuesday the WTI benchmark was trading down on the day by $7.32 (-35.83%) at $13.11—down roughly $7 per barrel week over week. The price of a Brent barrel was also trading down on Tuesday, by $5.72 (-22.37%), at $19.85—down nearly $10 week on week.

The API reported a build of 3.435 million barrels of gasoline for week ending April 17, after last week’s 2.226-million-barrel build. This week’s build compares to analyst expectations for a larger 3.578-million-barrel build for the week.

Distillate inventories were up by 7.639 million barrels for the week, compared to last week’s 5.640-barrel build, while Cushing inventories saw a large gain of 4.913 million barrels.

­­

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending April 10 fell to 12.3 million bpd—down 100,000 bpd for the week, and down 800,000 from its high.

At 4:41 pm EDT, WTI was trading at $13.05 while Brent was trading at $19.80.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • ricardo2000 NoName on April 21 2020 said:
    The market is going to enforce production cuts. US cuts of 800,000 bbl/day won't be enough. I predict the cuts will reach several million bbl/day before rebounding near Christmas as the accumulated storage is refined. It will take until next year for production to reach 10 million bbl/day.
    Alberta's Tar Sands were bankrupt in 2016. Alberta.ca reports financials for all 120 projects and 24 companies operating in Fort Mac. As of 2018, the accumulated losses reached $122 billion with only Syncrude consistently in the black. Several projects are more than $15 billion in debt. Koch and CNOOC (the Chinese at Long Lake) haven't produced a barrel for years. Only Syncrude was in the black. With April 17 WCS prices at $2.86/bbl, less than a cup of coffee, those days are over. AER ST98 (2019) reports mining operations need $80/bbl WTI prices to break even, and in situ SAGD projects need WTI $50/bbl. Prices would stay below $30/bbl if Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria were able to sell in a genuinely 'free market'. These facts mean Tar Sands operations are worthless. A fact the SEC forced Exxon/Mobil to acknowledge in 2016. The North American crude market and ecosystem can expect to benefit from the removal of 3 to 4 million bbl/day of bitumen.

    No one outside the US considers Alberta a reliable supplier of crude. They know Alberta will cut them off with the slightest hint from Houston. Alberta can expect no loyalty in return. Houston will use Alberta as a VLCC anchor to support Texas fracked crude.

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