Storage capacity utilisation at US Midwest refineries and tank farms reached its highest rate at the end of March since the Energy Information Administration (EIA) started collecting data.
New data tables launched by the EIA revel that the Midwest, where 26% of the nation’s working storage capacity which includes Oklahoma’s Cushing hub, has experienced significant changes in crude oil storage.
Storage utilisation at Midwest refineries in March 2015 reached 80% – the highest storage utilisation rate observed for any month since EIA started collecting storage capacity data in 2011. However, this figure includes crude oil in transit by rail and water being transported to refineries.
Utilisation of working capacity of tanks and underground storage was 73% in March 2015, nearly equal to the rate in March 2011, as Midwest crude oil stocks and storage capacities increased at similar rates.
Combined storage capacity utilisation at Midwest refineries and tank farms was 74% at the end of March – the highest Petroleum Administration for Defence District (PADD 2) storage capacity utilisation rate recorded since the EIA started collecting data.
The crude oil storage at Midwest refineries and tank farms in March 2015 was 103.7 million barrels. This is lower than the total Midwest working storage capacity four years previously, however as storage capacity has increased the 2015 utilisation rate is only two percentage points above the previous high of 72% at the end of March 2011.
The new EIA data series shows crude oil stocks held at refineries, crude oil in tanks and underground storage in each PADD – previously this information was only available at the national level.
Crude oil stocks in tanks and underground storage are used to calculate storage capacity utilisation rates and to derive the quantity of crude oil help in pipelines and in transit by rail and water. Refinery stocks and storage capacity date by PADD have both been available since 2011, but the new data tables being together these two sets of data to simplify the calculation of utilisation rates by PADD.
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