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U.S. oil inventories rise above five-year average

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Staff Writer | October 18, 2018
U.S. crude oil stockpiles pushed above their five-year average last week helped by a jump in net imports.
America   Commercial oil inventories surged by 6.5m barrels
According to the Energy Information Administration, the US Department of Energy's statistical arm, commercial oil inventories surged by 6.5m barrels (consensus: 2.2m) over the week ending on 12 October to reach 416.4m barrels.

That left them standing some 2% above their five-year average, the DoE said.

Gasoline inventories on the other hand slipped by 2.0m and those of distillates by 0.8m.

Oil imports meanwhile rose by 218,000 barrel per day over the week to average 7.6m b/d.

In parallel, exports declined by 794,000 b/d and domestic output decreased by 300,000 b/d.

Refineries operated at 88.8% of capacity.

As of 1721 BST, front month Brent crude oil futures were down by 1.724% to $80.03 a barrel on the ICE.

The inventory build took place despite the hit to domestic output from Hurricane Michael and a slight increase in refinery inputs, said Caroline Bain, Capital Economics's chief commodities economist.

As much as a fifth of US production from the Gulf of Mexico was shuttered ahead of the storm, she explained.