Crude Supplies Gain for Fourth Week in Survey: Energy Markets

Rabu, 15 Mei 2013 | 08:51

U.S. crude inventories probably rose for a fourth week to near a peak for 2013 as refineries got ready to increase gasoline production for the warm-weather driving months, a Bloomberg survey showed.Supplies climbed 400,000 barrels, or 0.1 %, to 395.9 million in the seven days ended May 10, according to the median of 11 analyst estimates before an Energy Information Administration report tomorrow. An addition that size would leave stockpiles at the highest level since 1931. Six respondents forecast a gain, four said there was a decline and one said there was no change.

Inventories have reached their maximum annual levels in May or June during eight of the past 10 years, data from the EIA, the U.S. Energy Department’s statistical arm, show. Refineries probably bolstered operating rates for a third week, according to the survey. Oil production climbed 57,000 barrels a day to 7.37 million in the week ended May 3, the highest level since February 1992, the EIA reported on May 8.

“We’re getting close to the seasonal peak in U.S. crude oil inventories,” Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York, said yesterday by phone. “We should soon start to work off these ample stockpiles as refineries ramp up gasoline output.”

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery slid 15 cents to $95.02 a barrel at 10:48 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange after closing at $95.17 yesterday, the lowest settlement since May 2. Futures have advanced 3.6 % this year.

Refinery Operations

Refineries probably operated at 87.5 % of capacity in the seven days ended May 10, up 0.5 percentage point from the prior week and the highest level in four months, the survey showed. Units often restart in the spring after performing maintenance in late winter as attention shifts away from heating oil and before gasoline demand rises.

“Scheduled maintenance is coming to an end so refinery operations should continue to rise,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy, said by phone yesterday.

Tesoro Corp. finished work at its 125,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Anacortes, Washington, and the plant was operating at normal rates, Tina Barbee, a spokeswoman at the company’s headquarters in San Antonio, said May 10. Valero Energy Corp. returned a catalytic cracker to planned rates at its 135,000- barrel-a-day Meraux, Louisiana, refinery following maintenance, Bill Day, a San Antonio-based spokesman for the company, said May 9.

Exxon Mobil Corp. is scheduled to end seasonal repairs at the 238,000-barrel-a-day Joliet refinery on May 22. The plant has been shut since April 14. (Bloomberg/msw)

by Newswire