Oil tanks at Cushing, Oklahoma are quickly approaching the critical levels reached in May following the price crash.

Cushing, which is the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate futures, said stockpiles stood at 61.6 million barrels as of November 13, which is about 81 percent of capacity, according to the most recent US government data. That figure is only 3.83 million barrels shy of the levels seen in May.

Lockdown measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic may soon force traders to store oil in every available place once more, including ships and pipelines – which some are already doing.

Refineries are still coping with lacklustre demand as coronavirus cases surge again.

Hillary Stevenson, a research director at Wood Mackenzie, said: “Even as those facilities come back online, we are seeing excess inflows into Cushing overshadowing increased demand.”

With states reimposing restrictions, demand for gasoline fell by half a million barrels a day last week, the biggest week-over-week decline since May, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) show.

For more information visit www.eia.gov

23rd November 2020