Column: Shrinking U.S. oil stocks point to market rebalancing – John Kemp

(John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own) LONDON (Reuters) – Excess petroleum inventories are being absorbed as lower prices compel U.S. shale producers and the members of OPEC+ to limit their output, confirming the market is on course to rebalance in 2021. In the United States, total stocks of crude oil and petroleum products have fallen in 10 out of the last 11 weeks, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (“Weekly petroleum status report”, EIA, Oct. 7). U.S. petroleum inventories have fallen by a total of 56 million barrels since the middle of July, partially reversing an earlier build up of 224 million barrels since the onset of the epidemic in the middle of March. Total inventories are 11% above the five-year seasonal average, down from a surplus of 14% three months ago, with most of the remaining surplus concentrated in crude and middle distillates such as diesel. Gasoline inventories are slightly below the five-year average for the first time since March, having been almost 13% above it in April, at the height of the lockdowns. U.S. crude stocks excluding the strategic petroleum reserve are 12% above the five-year average, but the… continue reading

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