Thirsty Thursday: An Inventory Report (2/16/23)

Posted: February 16, 2023
Previous Reports

Welcome to this week’s Thirsty Thursday: An Inventory Report. If you’re really in tune with all the holidays and special days here in the US, then you already know that Saturday is national “Drink Wine Day”. So our wine inspired cocktail of the week is the “New York Sour“. Not only are the layers in this cocktail beautiful but it tastes great too!

Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash

16.283 million barrel increase this week. That would have been quite shocking a month or two ago. Nowadays? Just another Thursday build.

Well, the API didn’t seem to be sleeping this week while putting in their data. Last week’s reported draw was likely a mistake, but this week’s 10.5 million barrel build sure isn’t. They were two orders of magnitude off with their forecast this week but hey, at least it is in the right direction this time.

Another week with no oil released from the SPR. To consolidate this report I’ll leave out the SPR update in the future until something notable happens.

Eight builds in eight weeks and we’ve just had the second-largest one during that span. Why though? Why have we had so many builds lately? One reason for this week’s build is that Russian oil is back on the international market, and is in direct competition with American oil. Cheap Russian oil is being bought up before sanctions possibly return to the conversation.

While Brent rose and fell during the week, WTI fell and subsequently rose, both oil indexes ending the week very nearly where they began. Brent was largely affected by the reintroduction of Russian oil to the market, while WTI has been moving in accordance with its relationship to the US dollar which has been comparatively weak as of late.

Brent Crude Oil
WTI Crude Oil

Natural gas prices continue to drive further downward. The past few weeks we have seen weekly recoveries and failings, and week after week natural gas edges slightly lower. At $2.405, natural gas has reached a price it hasn’t been at since mid-2021.

Natural Gas Price

Along with increasing crude oil stockpiles across the country, gasoline stock too continues to rise and rise and rise. Perhaps due to such large gasoline stockpiles, gasoline prices this week dropped a tad.

A tad = one cent. Just one single cent was how much cheaper regular gasoline got this week. At $3.422 gasoline is no bargain, but it also isn’t as bad as it was several months ago, and with stockpiles this large it sure doesn’t feel like we are in for rising gas prices. The largest piece of the gas price puzzle continues to be refinery capacity and outages.

Diesel dropped by six cents this week which we can all be happy about, but zooming out the timeline on diesel prices provides a dimmer view. A year ago diesel was a whole 60 cents cheaper. All fuel stock seems to be on the rise lately, diesel not excluded. Propane/propylene has been the only exception for several months now. Here’s to hoping rising diesel stock can tame diesel prices.

That does it for this week. I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s day and will have a great national Drink Wine Day. See you next week, cheers!

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

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