The US nation’s stockpile of oil plunged last week on the backs of rising demand and record crude exports.
Oil inventories dropped sharply by 6 million barrels with more refining activity back online after Hurricane Harvey, and the country averaged exporting almost 2 million barrels of oil per day for the first time for a full week, according to the U.S. Energy Department.
Exports are buoyed in part by a larger-than-usual gap between the U.S. and global benchmarks for oil prices, making the cheaper American crude more desirable to foreign markets. Houston and Corpus Christi have evolved into the nation’s primary oil-exporting hubs.
Harvey knocked out nearly a quarter of the nation’s oil refining capacity along the Texas Gulf Coast, creating multiple weeks of crude inventory increases as refineries processed less oil. But only less than 5 percent remains offline now, so inventories are back on the downswing.
The big draw in crude oil was only partially offset by an increase of 1.6 million barrels in refined gasoline stocks.
As for the oil shipment, crude exports hit a record in the week prior with nearly 1.5 million barrels sent out daily. That surged to more than 1.98 million barrels a day last week. The annual average is just under 1 million barrels a day.
This first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more click here.
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