Data for the week ending May 29, 2020 include revised storage capacities and revised estimates of pipeline fill based on data from the most recent Working and Net Available Shell Storage Capacity report with data for March 31, 2020.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) now provides weekly estimates of U.S. crude oil storage capacity utilization with the Weekly Petroleum Status Report (WPSR). This information will be provided for an indeterminate period of time to help stakeholders better assess current market conditions. EIA will report the most recent crude oil storage capacity utilization estimates for the United States in total and for each of the five Petroleum Administration Defense District (PADD) regions separately.
To estimate current working storage capacity utilization, EIA compares weekly reported crude oil stocks (excluding pipeline fill inventory) to the latest available monthly refinery and tank farm storage capacity. Utilization estimates are based on the ratio of stock levels to working storage capacity, which EIA defines as the difference in volume between the maximum safe fill capacity and the quantity below which pump suction is ineffective (bottoms). Working storage capacity accounts for normal operational factors that limit storage capacity. Working storage capacity is always less than shell storage capacity, which EIA defines as the design capacity of a petroleum storage tank or cavern.
EIA used storage capacity and estimated pipeline fill data as of September 30, 2019, for weekly storage capacity utilization calculations through the week ending May 22, 2020 (released on May 28, 2020). EIA released new storage capacity and estimated pipeline fill data for March 31, 2020, on May 29, 2020. EIA incorporated storage capacity and estimated pipeline fill data from March 31, 2020, in weekly crude oil storage capacity utilization calculations for the week ending May 29, 2020 (released on Wednesday, June 3, 2020). EIA revised storage capacity and estimated pipeline fill data for capacity utilization calculations beginning with data for week ending March 27, 2020, through week ending May 22, 2020.
Beginning with data for March 31, 2020, refinery and terminal operators report working and net available shell storage capacity for crude oil each year as of March 31 on Form EIA-810, Monthly Refinery Report, and Form EIA-813, Monthly Crude Oil Report. Storage capacity data were reported twice each year, at the end of March and September, through September 2019. EIA publishes storage capacity data in the Working and Net Available Shell Storage Capacity Report. Working storage capacity utilization estimates represent the average utilization for all respondents within a region. Some portion of working storage capacity remains unused at any given time to allow for normal functioning of petroleum storage and transportation systems. For example, storage may be held empty in order to receive barrels from incoming vessels or for other operational considerations.