The Keystone Gulf Coast line decreased its pumping rate strongly after an interruption last week. The line is well below the 300,000 bpd level for the week ending April 18th. Genscape is reporting a flow of 231,961 bpd or a decrease of 122,705 bpd compared to the previous week. Last week the Keystone line moved about 1.6 million barrels of crude oil out of Cushing or about 0.9 million barrels less than the previous week. TransCanada said it expected an average of 400,000-500,000 barrels of oil per day to flow through the pipeline in April. Both the inflow and outflow around Cushing declined strongly suggesting that there is not likely to be a large change in Cushing stocks in either direction based solely on the current pipeline data.
According to the latest data from Genscape (for more information on Genscape data products visit their website) the pipeline outflow from Cushing decreased strongly as the Keystone Gulf Coast had some issues last week. For the week ending April 18th total net outflow from Cushing decreased by an average of 143,920 bpd (mostly due to a decrease on Keystone Gulf Coast). Seaway pipeline averaged 325,689 bpd for the week ending April 18th and is still above the 300,000 bpd level. The inflow into Cushing decreased strongly by 144,818 bpd with the largest decrease on the Keystone – Steele City line. The Hawthorn pipeline was active last week as rail movements into this area were flowing once again.
I am expecting a modest build of crude oil stocks in PADD 3 (Gulf) of over 1.5 million barrels which will set another new record high inventory level. Following is the status of PADD 3 crude oil stocks compared to working storage capacity in the region. As shown in the chart not only are PADD 3 stocks at record high levels (and still growing) they are already at 75.8 percent of storage capacity heading into this week’s number. With crude oil demand in the region slowing as a result of spring refinery maintenance storage is likely to continue to build before peaking over the next month or so.
With refinery runs expected to decrease by 0.2 percent and with the industry working down its stocks of winter grade gasoline I am expecting a modest draw in gasoline stocks. Gasoline stocks are expected to decrease by 1 million barrels which would result in the gasoline year over year deficit coming in around 8.5 million barrels while the deficit versus the five year average for the same week will come in around 6.7 million barrels.
Distillate inventories are projected to decrease by 0.3 million barrels as exports of distillate fuel out of the US Gulf continue while heating demand last week was slightly above normal on colder than normal weather along the east coast. If the actual EIA data is in sync with my distillate fuel projection inventories versus last year will likely now be about 3.7 million barrels below last year while the deficit versus the five year average will come in around 24.5 million barrels.
The following table compares my projections for this week's report with the change in inventories for the same period last year. As you can see from the table last year's inventories are mostly in directional sync with the projections. However, if the actual data is in line with the projections there will still be modest changes in the year over year inventory comparisons for everything in the complex.