U.S. PETROLEUM INVENTORIES including the strategic reserve rose by +3 million barrels over the seven days ending on February 17. Increased inventories of commercial crude (+8 million), distillate fuel oil (+3 million) and jet fuel (+1 million) were partly offset by reductions in gasoline (-2 million), propane (-3 million) and other oils (-3 million).
Petroleum inventories have risen for seven consecutive weeks by a total of +55 million barrels, the largest increase over any similar period since June 2020, when the market was absorbing the impact of the first wave of the pandemic and lockdowns.
Total inventories are still at the lowest seasonal level since 2005 and -235 million barrels (-13% or -2.22 standard deviations) below the prior ten-year average, but the deficit has narrowed from -291 million barrels (-16% or -3.06 standard deviations) on December 30:
¹ Physical crude markets are prompt cash markets and reflect the balance of production, consumption and inventories now. Financial markets reflect expectations about how production, consumption and inventories will evolve over the next 6-12 months or so and are anticipating a recession in future. There is only one price of oil. But near-term shortages are consistent with anticipating future surpluses as a result of an economic slowdown. The current strongly backwardated market structure implies oil is in very short supply right now (which has been evident from large and persistent inventory draw downs) but is expected to be more plentiful in 6-12 months time (as a result of an economic slowdown dampening oil consumption). The price structure embodies the cyclical behaviour of production, consumption, inventories and price levels:
LONDON temperatures continue to rise with the temperature at Heathrow reaching 36.3°C on July 18 up from a high of 30.6°C on July 17, with a further build in heat expected today:
U.K. POWER GRID is relying heavily on gas-fired generation to meet demand during the heatwave. Combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) have been supplying around 50% of total domestic generation in recent days:
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