Oil Futures Surge After EIA Data Show Fuel Demand Spiked

Liubov Georges
By  Liubov Georges , DTN Energy Reporter

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Oil futures nearest delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange advanced more than 1.5% in late-morning trade Wednesday after inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed total product supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of demand, jumped above 20 million barrels per day (bpd) during the third week of September, with domestic gasoline and distillate stocks dropping by a combined 5.3 million barrels (bbl).

Demand for distillate fuels, which typically correlates with economic activity, unexpectedly jumped 768,000 bpd from the previous week to 4.178 million bpd -- the highest weekly consumption rate since early July. U.S. distillate fuel consumption remained well below 2021 levels for the past 2-1/2 months, however, averaging just 3.6 million bpd. Distillate fuels stocks dropped 2.9 million bbl during the week ended Sept. 23 to 114.4 million bbl.

Demand for motor gasoline also rose by more than 500,000 bpd to 8.825 million bpd but remained some 6% below the comparable 2021 weekly consumption rate. Gasoline stockpiles fell by a hefty 2.4 million bbl to 212.2 million bbl compared with expectations for inventories to have increased 900,000 bbl.

Commercial crude oil stockpiles fell roughly in line with expectations, down 215,000 bbl to 430.6 million bbl, about 2% below the five-year average. Oil stored at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate futures, increased 692,000 bbl. from the previous week to 25.7 million bbl.

U.S. crude oil production fell 100,000 bpd from the previous week to 12 million bpd.

The U.S. refinery run rate dropped a hefty 3% from the previous week to 90.6% of capacity compared with estimates for a 0.7% decline. Unplanned refinery outages in the Midwest and the beginning of seasonal maintenance reduced the utilization rate last week.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 19.7 million bpd, down 3.1% from the same period last year. Over the past four weeks, gasoline supplied to the domestic market averaged 8.6 million bpd, down 6.6% from the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied averaged 3.6 million bpd over the past four weeks, down 9.7% from the same period last year.

Near 11:40 a.m. EDT, NYMEX WTI November futures were trading on either side of $81 bbl, up $2.25. NYMEX October RBOB futures advanced 4.4 cents to $2.5371 gallon, while the front-month ULSD futures rallied more than 15.5 cents to $3.4165 gallon.

Liubov Georges can be reached at liubov.georges@dtn.com

Liubov Georges