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Posts tagged “gas inventories”

By Robert Rapier on Jan 27, 2009 with 5 responses

Why Gas Prices are Rising Again

Every time gas prices start to go up, my essay “Why Are Gas Prices Rising?” gets a lot of hits from Google searches by people looking for an explanation. Because the supply/demand dynamics have changed, that essay needs dusting off, especially in light of stories like this: Pros puzzled by gas prices Fuel industry pundits have been left scratching their heads at the recent jump in gas prices, which have increased despite plummeting crude prices. “The nationwide average retail price of self-serve regular gasoline seems to be defying gravity this month,” according to American Automobile Association (AAA) Director of Public Relations, Geoff Sundtrom, “as it continued to rise in the face of sharply lower prices for crude oil and wholesale… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 19, 2008 with no responses

Haven’t We Seen This Before?

At this year’s ASPO conference, I was twice asked about the gasoline supply situation – once at a panel session and once by a reporter. At the time, there were gas shortages throughout the southeast, and some of the speakers gave the impression that this was the beginning of the end: Gas shortages are here to stay, and we are on the verge of the entire country running out of gasoline. There were a number of predictions along the lines of “It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.” While first discussing the source of the gas shortages – low inventories followed by a hurricane that sidelined a significant source of refining capacity – I answered the… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Sep 15, 2008 with no responses

You Heard it Here First

As I warned on Saturday: Gas Prices Climb Quickly as Refineries Remain Closed At least 14 Texas refineries, representing nearly a quarter of the nation’s refining capacity, will probably remain shut for the next week or more. Three more Louisiana refineries may be damaged from widespread flooding. “It may not be possible for us — and other manufacturers — to maintain normal supplies in the coming days,” Chevron stated in a bleak assessment on its Web site on Sunday, warning of “severe supply disruptions in the wake of Hurricane Ike.” Hopefully you heeded the warning and got yourself some gasoline on Saturday. If you didn’t – especially if you live in the South – you are probably going to pay… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Sep 13, 2008 with no responses

Flirting with Disaster

Update: Governors in several states have now declared states of emergency due to potential gasoline shortages. One example: Governor Riley Declares State of Emergency MONTGOMERY – [Alabama] Governor Bob Riley on Friday afternoon declared a state of emergency for Alabama after he received new information from the U.S. Department of Energy that energy shortages will likely occur in the state due to Hurricane Ike. The Governor’s declaration notes that “disruption of essential utility services, systems and severe energy shortages will likely occur.” “I believe this new information means a threat to public health is a strong possibility due to the shortage of fuels,” said Governor Riley. “I deem it an emergency.” Many of these declarations are designed to put anti-price… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 23, 2008 with no responses

Drowning in Gasoline

It sort of crept up on me, but last night as I reviewed This Week in Petroleum, I was struck by just how fast the U.S. has built gasoline inventories. Currently at 230 million barrels, I could not recall ever seeing gasoline inventories that high. So, I went back and looked, and the last time gasoline inventories stood at this level was in 1994. While crude, distillate, and propane inventory levels are typical for this time of year, the gasoline situation bears investigating. Inventories from a year ago were fairly high at 222 million barrels, but then in mid-February we started a steep slide (accompanied by a steep increase in gasoline prices) to record low territory. We bottomed out in… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 29, 2008 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 1-30-08

Updated Gasoline inventories did in fact edge upward, as gasoline imports were very strong. Had that not been the case, gasoline inventories would have definitely come down, as utilization continues to trend down. In fact, just glancing over the data, more gasoline may have been imported this January than in any other January before. As long as that continues, gasoline prices won’t gain much traction. But European refiners have to take turnarounds as well, so gasoline imports typically fall off in February and March. Here is the summary: Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending January 25, 2008 U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.6 million barrels per day during the week ending January 25,down 302,000 barrels per… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 24, 2008 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 1-24-08

Updated: Not too much to get excited about. Those reports of some refineries coming down early for turnarounds due to low margins look to be accurate, given the drop in refinery utilization. That would also explain the rise in crude inventories, but typically you start to see gasoline inventories coming down as the refineries come offline. Gasoline production did fall, as one would expect as turnaround season begins. However, gasoline inventories increased on the back of very strong gasoline import numbers. The highlights: Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending January 18, 2008 U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.9 million barrels per day during the week ending January 18, down 91,000 barrels per day from the previous… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 16, 2008 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 1-16-08

With all of the traveling, and then trying to catch up after the holidays, I haven’t had time to do a proper TWIP. Anyway, mostly what we saw for the past month were crude draws, and gasoline inventories climbing back up and getting in pretty good shape prior to spring turnaround season. Part of the draw down in crude was tax-related. Many countries, including the U.S., tax crude inventories at year end. So, there is a bit of a balancing act as refiners try to draw down inventories while still maintaining enough on hand to weather any supply disruptions. This week saw a large gain across the complex, and crude prices are falling as a result. Summary of Weekly Petroleum… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 11, 2007 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 12-12-07

Updated: You would think if last week’s large inventory drop was due to fog-induced delays, all of that crude would show up this week. Not so, as another drop in crude inventories was recorded: U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) dropped by 0.7 million barrels compared to the previous week. At 304.5 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.6 million barrels last week, but are near the lower end of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components inventories increased during this period. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 0.8 million barrels,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 4, 2007 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 12-5-07

Update following the release: Big surprises all around this week: Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending November 30, 2007 U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) dropped by 8.0 million barrels compared to the previous week. At 305.2 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 4.0 million barrels last week, and are below the lower end of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components inventories increased during this period. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 1.4 million barrels, but are in the middle of the average range for this time… Continue»