A key transport route between the US Gulf Coast and the Canadian East Coast prevented storage capacity at several terminals reaching critical capacity, according to Genscape.
Since the beginning of 2015, almost 19 million barrels have been shipped between the two locations, 10.5 million barrels from Corpus Christi terminals and 8.4 million barrels from Houston terminals. Without this route, storage capacity, especially in Corpus Christi could have reached critical levels.
However, crude oil inventories in Edmonton fell to their lowest level since October 2014. The Edmonton terminals are currently utilising 35% of storage capacity – a significant decline from the 65% utilisation rate at the beginning of April.
This decrease is partly due to increased pipeline outflow from Edmonton, with the addition of a new Enbridge pipeline from Edmonton to Hardisty. On March 20, inventories exceeded the highest level recorded since Genscape – a data and intelligence company – began monitoring the storage hub in 2010. Stocks have fallen as a result of the implementation of the new pipeline.
Several factors, including Shell’s Scotford upgrader and other planned outages, have seen crude oil prices rebound from lows.
The analysis report by Genscape says: ‘The team here expects this premium to WTI to narrow significantly later this summer as production bounces back, and all maintenance events are completed.’