U.S. Crude-Oil Stockpiles Likely Decreased in DOE Data, Analysts Say — Update

By Dan Molinski


U.S. crude-oil stockpiles are expected to have fallen slightly from the previous week in data due Thursday from the Energy Department, according to a survey of analysts and traders by The Wall Street Journal.

Estimates from nine analysts and traders showed U.S. oil inventories are projected to have declined by 500,000 barrels for the week ended May 27. Five of the analysts forecast a decrease, while four predicted an increase. Forecasts range from a decrease of 4 million barrels to an increase of 2.5 million barrels.

The closely watched survey from the DOE’s Energy Information Administration is scheduled for release at 11 a.m. ET Thursday, which is a day later than normal due to Monday’s Memorial Day holiday.

Gasoline stockpiles are expected to decrease by 100,000 barrels from the previous week, according to analysts. Estimates range from a decrease of 3 million barrels to an increase of 2.3 million barrels.

Stocks of distillates, which include heating oil and diesel, are expected to rise by 800,000 barrels from the previous week. Forecasts range from a decrease of 3 million barrels to an increase of 2.9 million barrels.

Refinery use likely rose by 0.4 percentage point from the previous week, to 93.6% of capacity. Forecasts range from a decrease of 0.9 percentage point to an increase of 1 percentage point. Two analysts didn’t make a forecast.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said late Wednesday that its own data for the week showed a 1.2-million-barrel decrease in crude supplies, a 256,000-barrel decline in gasoline stocks and an 858,000-barrel increase in distillate inventories, according to a source.

Refinery Crude Gasoline Distillates Use Again Capital -1.2 1.9 2.3 0.4 Citi Futures 2.5 unch 1.5 0.5 Commodity Research Group 2.3 -0.2 1 -0.9 Confluence Investment Management -4 1 0.5 0.5 DTN -0.6 -1 0.8 0.3 Spartan Capital Securities 1.3 -1 2.9 n/f Price Futures Group -3 -3 -3 1 Ritterbusch and Associates -1.9 2.3 1.2 0.9 Tradition Energy 0.3 -0.5 0.2 n/f AVERAGE -0.5 -0.1 0.8 0.4

n/f = no forecast

unch = unchanged

Note: Numbers in millions of barrels, with the exception of refinery use, which is in percentage points.

Write to Dan Molinski at dan.molinski@wsj.com


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