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US crude stocks fall as exports hit new record

October 09/2017

MOSCOW (MRC) Ч US crude oil stocks fell sharply last week as crude exports rose to a record high of nearly 2 MMbpd, said Hydrocarbonprocessing

Crude inventories fell 6 MMbbl in the week to Sept. 29, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 756,000 bbl. Inventories have dropped in the past two weeks as Gulf Coast refineries restart after weeks of shutdowns due to Hurricane Harvey.

Crude exports, meanwhile, jumped to 1.98 MMbpd, surpassing the 1.5 MMbpd record set the previous week. The jump in US exports points to growing demand and the rising profile of the United States as a major supplier of crude and products around the world.

The increase has in part been driven by a recent widening between prices for US West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent futures. The North Sea benchmark last week hit its highest premium over WTI in two years, making US crude increasingly competitive in foreign markets.

"A wide price premium of Brent over WTI crude has boosted appetite for US oil globally, which was reflected in the rise in exports," said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax EnergyТs Global Gas Analytics in London.

The benchmarks turned positive immediately after the data. By 11:03 a.m. EDT (1503 GMT), WTI up four cents at USD50.49 while Brent was unchanged at USD56/bbl.

The spread between the December contracts on both benchmarks narrowed to USD5.20 from USD5.31 before the data. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for WTI futures rose by 1.5 MMbbl, EIA said.

US crude imports fell last week by 706,000 bpd. Refinery crude runs fell by 145,000 bpd and refinery utilization rates fell by 0.5 percentage point to 88.1% of total capacity, EIA data showed.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell 2.6 MMbbl, versus expectations for a 1.8-MMbbl drop, the EIA data showed. Gasoline stocks rose 1.6 MMbbl, compared with analyst expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.1-MMbbl gain.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, petrochemistry, Crude oil, USA.
Category:General News
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