The Energy Information Administration says U.S. gasoline stockpiles are at their lowest level ever following a 4.0 million barrel drawdown at the end of August while demand remained high at 9.626 million bpd.
DOE supply data.
According to DTN’s Oilspot News:
“[N]ot only is the absolute level of inventories low, but in terms of days of supply, it is the lowest ever recorded, reaching just 20 days. This is even fewer days than seen following the hurricanes in 2005,” said the EIA.
The EIA calculates the days of forward supply by taking total gasoline inventories and dividing by the latest four-week average of product supplied. The EIA began recording days of forward supply March 1991.
“While the absolute level of total gasoline inventories has been slightly lower a few times in recent years, when the level of demand is taken into account, it has not been this low before,” said the EIA.
Blame it on high demand, refinery issues and a drop off in imports. Over the last four weeks, total gasoline inventories have dropped by more than 12 million barrels, which is a bit faster than normally seen at this time of year.
But at the same time the U.S. is seeing low gasoline prices, due in part to the end of the summer driving season, which officially ends Labor Day Weekend. As a Dow Jones story put it:
Pump prices for regular gasoline averaged $2.777 a gallon just before the Labor Day weekend, 3.1 cents less than a year ago. Retail gasoline prices are about 14%, or 45 cents, below the record U.S. average retail gasoline price reached just before the Memorial Day weekend, which kicked off the peak-demand summer driving season.
This combination has analysts predicting gasoline prices won’t dip as much as they normally do through the fall. Of course if there’s a hurricane that makes landfall on the Gulf Coast, it’s likely another story.
In Houston our prices have been on a steady decrease, reaching $2.579 for regular unleaded, according to today’s AAA numbers.
| Fill it up.
I wonder if Texas’ Hurricane Dean preparations have had any role in lowering prices along the coast?