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Prolonged Outage in US Gasoline Pipeline Could Pressure Crude Oil Price

The report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that total crude oil and petroleum products (ex. SPR) stocks gained +3.89 mmb to 1283.82 mmb in the week ended May 7. Crude oil inventory dropped -0.43 mmb (consensus: -2.82 mmb) to 484.69 mmb. Stockpile declined in 2 out of 5 PADDs with PADD 1 (East Coast) alone down -1.68 mmb. Cushing stock slipped -0.42 mmb to 45.91 mmb. Utilization rate slipped -0.4 percentage point to 86.1% while crude production increased +0.1M bpd to 11M bpd for the week. Crude oil imports increased +0.04M bpd to 5.49M bpd in the week.

Colonial Pipeline Co, the largest gasoline pipeline in the US is gradually resuming service after a cyber attack. The Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm noted that it would take days to fully restore supplies after the restart. A prolonged outage would likely support refined product prices. However, it could pressure crude oi prices. The impact would be more serious in PADD3 (Gulf Coast) as refiners are forced to trimrun rates due to a build-up of refined product inventories in PADD3.

Concerning refined oil product inventories, gasoline inventory added +0.38 mmb, to 236.19 mmb as demand dropped -0.7% to 8.8M bpd. The market had anticipated a -0.6 mmb decrease in stockpile. Production rose +4.8% to 9.59M bpd while imports jumped +79.1% to 0.99M bpd during the week. Distillate stockpile declined -1.73 mmb to 134.42 mmb. The market had anticipated a -1.08 mmb fall. Demand fell -3.8% to 3.97M bpd. Production added +3.5% to 4.66 mmb while imports jumped +19.6% to 0.14M bpd during the week.

A day earlier, the industry-sponsored API estimated that crude oil inventory fell -2.53 mmb. Gasoline stockpile gained +5.64 mmb, while that for distillate dipped -0.87 mmb.

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