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Today in Energy

June 23, 2011

EIA provides new information on crude oil storage at Cushing, Oklahoma

graph of Crude oil capacity and stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, a key market center, as described in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Working and Net Available Shell Storage Capacity
Note:For statistical purposes, EIA defines the Cushing crude oil storage area as including Creek, Lincoln, and Payne counties of Oklahoma. Pipeline line fill stocks are estimated as the difference between total crude oil stocks and tank farm stocks.
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The U.S. Energy Information Administration released new data on the composition of total crude oil stocks—the break out of tank farm stocks and pipeline fill stocks—on May 31, 2011 in an update to the Working and Net Available Shell Storage Capacity report for crude oil, petroleum products, and biofuels. New information in the report indicates that nearly 86% of Cushing tank farm working storage capacity was filled at the end of March 2011. High storage levels at Cushing, the market hub for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) that is the basis for oil futures contracts traded at the New York Mercantile Exchange, are a symptom of transportation constraints that have resulted in WTI trading at a large discount relative to comparable grades of crude oil, as discussed in the February 24, 2011 edition of This Week in Petroleum.

Working storage capacity at tank farms in Cushing,Oklahoma increased by 2.1 million barrels between the end of September 2010 and the end of March 2011. Shell storage capacity also increased, growing from 55.1 million barrels at the end of September 2010 to 57.9 million barrels at the end of March 2011. All shell storage capacity was reported as being in operation at the end of March 2011.(Working and shell storage capacities were explained in This Week in Petroleum released December 1, 2010.)

At the end of March 2011, total crude oil stocks, which includes stocks held in tank farms as well as pipeline fill, at Cushing were 42.3 million barrels, including tank farm stock levels of 41.2 million barrels.