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Increase in US crude oil storage and capacity

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Commercial crude oil inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma (located in Petroleum Administration for Defense District 2) and the US Gulf Coast (PADD 3) totalled a record high 309.4 million bbls as of the week ending 27 November. Based on the recently released storage capacity and line fill data in the September Petroleum Supply Monthly (PSM), EIA estimates 70.2% utilisation of working crude oil storage capacity in Cushing and the Gulf Coast on a combined basis, only slightly below the record utilisation level of 71.2% set in the week ending April 24 of this year.

The US Gulf Coast region contains 55% of the nation's crude oil storage capacity, and Cushing contains another 13%. As of the week ending 27 November, these two locations contained 67% of the nation's crude oil inventories. They are also home to most of the growth in crude oil storage capacity over the past four and a half years. Since March 2011, the Gulf Coast and Cushing have accounted for about 85% of the nation's increase in crude oil storage capacity, growing by 55.7 million bbls and 25.0 million bbls, respectively.

Although storage utilisation levels along the Gulf Coast and at Cushing are often assessed separately, their combined utilisation is currently most relevant given the increased pipeline capacity to move crude oil south from Cushing to the Gulf Coast during a time of high global crude oil inventory builds. Despite relatively high crude oil inventories and storage capacity utilisation, there are still more than 100 million bbls of capacity available in these two areas.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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