IEA Sees Oil Inventory Reaching This Key OPEC Target 'Very Soon'

IEA Sees Oil Inventory Reaching This Key OPEC Target 'Very Soon'

USA crude inventories expanded by 6.18 million barrels last week, according to industry data, as oil processors gradually restarted following Harvey. Crude prices hit above $58 a barrel in January, fresh after OPEC begin its cuts, but have slipped since to stay in a range of $50-$54. After the markets closed on Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported that United States oil inventories rose by almost 6.2 million barrels in the week ended September 8. "Currently as far as Harvey is concerned, we do not see that there is a major physical shortage of oil which (would) make us consider to release stocks", Reuters reported the chief of the Paris-based agency, Fatih Birol as saying.

Rainwater from Hurricane Harvey surrounds oil refinery storage tanks in this aerial photograph taken above Texas City, Texas, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017.

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Gasoline stockpiles were down 8.4 million barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles fell 3.2 million barrels, according to the EIA. At the same time, crude inventories climbed by 5.89 MMbbl to 468.2 million, while refinery utilization sunk.

"OECD product stocks were only 35 million barrels above the five-year average at end-July", the IEA said. According to the EIA, the lower refinery demand for crude oil and limited ability to move crude oil resulted in crude oil inventory builds at Cushing, Oklahoma, and the Gulf Coast of 800,000 barrels and 1.7 million barrels respectively as of Friday, September 1. Oil exports by OPEC were 25.19 million bpd in August, their lowest level since April. Prices climbed 16 cents to $48.23 on Tuesday. Production rose 0.5% month-over-month but fell 2.8% year-over-year. The intensity of Irma's top winds have dropped to 70 miles per hour after making landfall September 10 as a Category 4 hurricane.

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With the data release Tuesday, the global Brent price of oil was up 0.7% to $54.24 per barrel in recent trading, while the USA benchmark price was up 0.2% to $48.17.

U.S. oil inventories are back within the five-year range and are at their lowest since January 2016. I think that they are still underestimating global demand and will have to raise it again even though 1.6 million barrels a day increase is extremely large year over year growth by historical standards.

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Russia's output made up 316,000 barrels against 300,000 barrels per day.

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