Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Crude Oil Storage at Cushing, but not Storage Capacity Utilization Rate, at Record Level

graph of weekly crude oil inventory and storage capacities at Cushing, Oklahoma, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Petroleum Status Report and Working and Net Available Shell Storage Capacity

After increasing for 15 consecutive weeks, crude oil storage at Cushing, Oklahoma, reached 54.4 million barrels on March 13, according to EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report. This volume is the highest on record, but not the highest percent of storage utilization, as working storage capacity at Cushing has also increased over time.
Storage levels at Cushing are significant, because Cushing serves as the delivery point for the United Statescrude oil benchmark, West Texas Intermediate. Sited in central Oklahoma, Cushing is home to both a network of crude oil pipelines and storage capacity. The 70.8 million barrels of storage capacity in Cushing represent more than 60% of all crude oil working storage capacity in the Midwest (as defined by Petroleum Administration for Defense District 2) and about 19% of all commercial crude oil storage in the United States.
Although inventory levels at Cushing are at their record high, storage utilization (inventories as a percent of working storage capacity) are not at record levels. Capacity utilization at Cushing is now 77%, a large increase from a recent low of 27% in October 2014. However, utilization reached 91% in March 2011, soon after EIA begansurveying storage capacity twice a year, starting in September 2010.  (DOE-EIA)

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