Around The Barrel – Oil Futures Getting Support from Cushing draw of -2.891Mbbls

The EIA reported US crude oil inventories fell 0.708Mbbls, which included no crude taken from the SPR after fifteen straight weeks of SPR drawdowns. Domestic US oil production unchanged at 12.3mbpd just off the highest level since 2020. Futures got support from the WTI Futures Hub at Cushing draw of -2.891Mbbls (API was 2.999Mbbl). Gasoline stocks fell -1.066Mbbls and distillate rose just 0.013Mbbls in inventories. Refinery utilization rose 0.60%. The key commodities ignored weak data out of China that almost routinely triggered more calls for more policy stimulus.

Futures have consolidated the move higher after it bounced off its 50-day moving average (71.29) last week, to find resistance from near its 200-day moving average (77.34), narrowing this week’s gain to $1.55, or 2.1%. The U.S. Dollar Index dropped a solid 2.4% this week to 99.96. With the lower greenback and soft-landing view commodity prices rose this week, including oil (+2.1%) and copper (+3.8%). Mirroring the move in yields the U.S. Dollar Index rose 0.2% to 99.93 Friday, but still lost 2.3% for the week after a 0.6% loss for the prior week.

Oil Volatility

Oil futures last week got a boost when US CPI for June showed annual inflation decelerated to 3.0% from 4.0% in May which saw risk on asset buying supporting crude prices. Another positive sign for the oil market was the Exxon Mobil (XOM) $4.9 billion all stock deal to buy pipeline operator Denbury. One, it involved no debt and two and involved an oil major taking a lead in energy transition which satisfied wider segments of the political spectrum and market.

Last week’s Chinese trade figures disappointed. Imports fell by 2.6% y/y and exports fell by 12.4% y/y (consensus -10) in USD terms but also fell by 8.3% y/y in yuan.

Futures wise the moves consolidated last week’s future’s price move was the largest increase since the week of April 3. Support came from a lower US dollar, Russian Energy Ministry confirming oil supplies cuts by 500K Bpd by cutting exports and the Department of Energy issuing a request for proposals to purchase barrels for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. U.S. labor market continues its resilience in June with both the ADP and BLS reports underscoring the strength in the belly of the economy.

For the week, the price rose 2.07% with geopolitical and asset risk-on buying humming in the background. The energy complex closed the week with WTI futures rose +1.80% after rising +4.29% the week prior, gasoline up 1.65% after rising 1.47% the week prior, Brent rose +1.41% after rising +3.87% the week prior, and heating oil rose +1.09% after rising+4.58% the week prior.

Concerns on the global economy deepen with the aggressive Central bank hiking as we saw with the weak global PMIs reports.

Around The Barrel Contents

Click on the links below to navigate to the relevant section.

  1. DOE & API Petroleum Storage Forecast Matrix
  2. Crude Oil Quick Summary
  3. Weekly DoE US Petroleum Storage Report Breakdown
  4. API Crude Inventories
  5. Cushing Oil Stocks
  6. Crude Imports
  7. Crude Exports
  8. Gasoline
  9. Rig Watch
  10. Crude Oil Production
  11. Weather
  12. WTI Crude Oil Futures Technical Analysis
  13. DCOT Report
  14. Option Volatility and Gamma
  15. Key EIA and CME Dates

The risks of global recession threaten the demand picture and with higher rates push the likelihood of a meaningful recession higher. In 2023 the market has in the background the obtuse geopolitical framework framed by Russia’s Ukraine invasion, Germany’s inept energy policy, and Iran and China pursuing aggressive directions.

The Week Ahead

DOE Weekly Petroleum Status Report Forecast

  • via
  • Report Date 7/14/23
  • Release Date Wednesday July 19, 2023, at 10:30 A.M


  • Crude EIA -0.708M Exp -2.280M Prior +5.946M API -0.797M
  • Cushing EIA -2.891M Exp -1.85 Prior -1.605M API -2.999M
  • Gasoline EIA -1.066M Exp -0.100M Prior -0.004M API -2.800M
  • Distillate EIA +0.013M Exp +0.400M Prior +4.815M API -0.100M
  • Refinery Utilization +0.6% to 91.7% Exp +0.1%
  • Production UNCHkbpd to 12,300kbpd (13.10 ATH)
  • SPR release 0.000M (Lowest Since Aug 1983)
  • NB: Crude oil supply adjustment 7/14/23 -592 w/w at 0.823mbpd – EIA
  • US petroleum inventories (crude, SPR, refined products) fell by 1.147mb w/w to 1,623.748mb last week – EIA

The EIA reported US crude oil inventories fell 0.708Mbbls, which included no crude taken from the SPR after fifteen straight weeks of SPR drawdowns. Domestic US oil production unchanged at 12.3mbpd just off the highest level since 2020. The WTI Futures Hub at Cushing had a draw of -2.891Mbbls. gasoline stocks fell -1.066Mbbls and distillate rose just 0.013Mbbls in inventories. Refinery utilization rose 0.60%.

Note in bbls *exp = Reuters poll estimates adjusted for API shift, except Cushing

Energy Price Matrix

Energy Market Performance

US Crude Oil Quick Look

Oil prices continue to be subject to geopolitical bifurcation dynamics with sudden changes that accompanies the onset of chaos. The unexpected knock-ons continue with imperfect bifurcation with political influence and personal vagaries from world leaders such as Putin, Scholz and Biden in addition to routine crude dynamics.

via Ole S Hansen @Ole_S_Hansen

Final 2022 Inventory

  • Commercial crude oil inventories were up ~2.8m bbls
  • SPR inventories were down ~ 221.3m bbls
  • Gasoline inventories were down ~10.1m bbls
  • Distillates were down ~6.5m bbls
  • Jet Fuel inventories were down ~0.9m bbls
  • Propane was up ~14.5m bbls

Weekly DoE US Petroleum Storage Report Breakdown

Weekly Storage via DOE

with RonH Data ‏@Ronh and The Fundamental Angle ‏@BrynneKKelly

  Via RonH at Ron H Public Tableau Link

API Crude Oil Inventories

US petroleum (Crude, SPR, oil products) inventories in million barrels (EIA)

Note June 8: US Department of Energy (DoE) plans to issue a new solicitation to purchase an additional 3 million barrels of crude oil for the strategic stockpile. These barrels are scheduled for delivery in September. In August, the DoE awarded contracts for the purchase of 3 million barrels of crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) at an average price of $73 per barrel.

US petroleum inventories (crude, SPR, refined products) fell by 1.147mb w/w to 1,623.748mb last week – EIA

US total crude oil inventories (both commercial and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) have fallen to a 36-year low, dropping below the previous bottom set in 2001 via Bloomberg

US SPR crude inventories – 1.4mb w/w at 348.6 million barrels the lowest since Oct 1983

  • Sour unchanged w/w at 203.2mb
  • Sweet -1.mb w/w to 145.4mb

Cushing Oil Stocks

Cushing, OK is the hub for the most heavily traded US oil Futures contract – West Intermediate Crude – WTI so for that reason we pay special attention to the storage there.

Cushing Storage Tanks
Cushing Storage Tanks

API Cushing Stocks

API Cushing

Weekly Update via RonH Data ‏@Ronh999

Cushing OK Crude Oil Storage Stocks

Net available tank shell storage tank capacity in Cushing stands at 98.695mb as of March, up 514kb y/y

Closer Look at Cushing with DigStic Data @DigStic

US Oil Import Export



US crude imports by origin in kbpd (incl. w/w changes)

  • Canada +313 to 3698
  • Mexico +478 to 1004
  • Saudi Arabia -18 to 426
  • Colombia +62 to 215
  • Iraq +125 to 259
  • Ecuador +63 to 207
  • Nigeria -98 to 91
  • Brazil +314 to 357
  • 7/19/23


The tightening of the Dubai differential to WTI +the weakish WTI/Brent spread has served to increase US exports of WTI to Asia & the EU. (France & Netherlands) Exports were an extraordinary 5.338 mbpd. And while distillate demand here is lackluster, exports were on fire @1.496 mbpd

via Patricia A Hemsworth @phemsworth

US crude exports surged in March according to US Customs data.

Exports to Asia hit 2MMBD for the first time as China took in almost half of those volumes. Exports to China have been depressed since 2020 and they have surged for the first time since then. @OilyticsData

US exports of crude and refined products in mbpd (EIA) – Record High ~11.776 million b/d.
US crude exports rose to record 4.146mbpd in October – EIA

The Russia, India and China mix

Russia said they would cut production by 500kbbls in March just as Russia launched its heaviest bombardment on southern Ukraine since the start of the war, as officials warned Moscow’s major offensive had ‘definitely’ started. There is a clear use of oil as a weapon by Putin. India and China being Russia’s main customers are not filling the demand void. Not hard to join the dots.

EU’s sanctions on Russian refined products were implemented Feb. 5. The ban follows a similar price cap on crude shipments introduced last year. European countries have pushed to lower the crude price cap ($60) on Moscow even further, but the Biden administration said it was inclined to oppose the move. 

Futures have been ignoring large US builds and have chosen hope with China opening up rather than negative morose from China’s economic implosion and the Central Bank maelstrom. Europe has been addressing energy dependance on Russia since the Ukraine invasion. President Vladimir Putin said Russia would immediately stop oil supply to countries that support the G7 members price cap on exports of Russian oil.

Since the cap, if not before Russian exports have been redirected to India and China in particular. Russian crude exports into India rose by 260kbd m/m in December to a record 1.2mbd. January exports are on-track to nearly 1.3mbd of Russian crude. Russian Exports to China were 70kbd in December, down nearly 27%m/m. We have seen Malaysia increase exports well beyond its own output to China. In turn China has exported products such as distillates back to Europe.

US Gasoline Consumers

Input to Refineries


Update: PADD 3 Refinery Utilization

7/19/23 @staunovo

US consumers bought 371.9 million gallons of gasoline per day last week. That is +14.0 mil YoY.


US consumers spent $1,323.6 million dollars per day for gasoline last week. That is $-283.3 mil YoY


US avg retail price for gasoline was $3.559 last week. That is -0.931 YoY.


Rig Watch

Baker Hughes Weekly North American Rigs Report

  • US Baker Hughes Rig Count Jul 14: 675 (prev 680)
  • Rotary Gas Rigs: 537 (prev 540)
  • Rotary Oil Rigs: 133 (prev 135)

US Oil Rigs w/w changes by key shale basins

  • Permian -4 to 326
  • Eagle Ford unchanged at 59
  • Williston +1 to 35
  • Cana Woodford -1 to 22
  • DJ Niobrara unchanged at 14

US oil rigs and frac spread (Baker Hughes/Primary Vision)

US oil rigs and frac spread (Baker Hughes/Primary Vision)

Canada Rigs

  • Canada’s weekly rig count at 173 July 14, 2023
  • Canada’s active rig count declined slightly this week, settling at 173 compared to 180 on July 7. This 3.9% decline is the first we’ve seen in weeks and, given trends from previous years, will likely be followed by activity increases in the near future.
  • The week’s peak was 189 on July 10, continuing a pattern of activity lulls as the weekend draws nearer.
  • Activity was down across Alberta, BC, and Saskatchewan, with Saskatchewan’s decline of 4 rigs standing out as the most significant.
  • Oil rigs were responsible for most of this week’s decline. There were 102 active oil rigs this morning compared to 108 on July 7, while there were actually 2 additional gas rigs compared to last week. The number of rigs classified as “unknown” or “other” dropped to 9 from 12 on July 7
  • Today’s rig utilization rate is 42.6%, a very slight decline from 42.7% on July 7. The total number of rigs declined from 421 on July 7 to 406 today, suggesting a decrease in available rigs as well as rig activity.
  • BOE Report

International oil rigs ex North America

International oil rigs ex North America -4 m/m to 735 in June via Baker Hughes

  • Norway +6
  • Mexico +3
  • UK, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil +2
  • Vietnam -2
  • Abu Dhabi, Kuwait -3
  • Indonesia -5
  • Baker Hughes

US Oil Production

US crude production changed benchmark April 12, 2023: US oil production: This week’s domestic crude oil production estimate incorporates a re-benchmarking that increased estimated volumes by 105,000 barrels per day, which is about 0.9% of this week’s estimated production total.

US Oil Field Production UNCHkbpd at 12.30mbpd (New Benchmark adj)

North Dakota oil production was at 1.134mbpd in May, -0.2% m/m, +6.7% y/y – state

OPEC Crude Oil Production


June OPEC+ meeting agenda

OPEC+ meeting had some angst early with African nations wanting a change to baseline. The resolution was Saudi Arabia said Sunday it will make an additional voluntary cut of 1Mbbls of crude oil starting in July as a temporary measure initially. That came with the press conference, OPEC+ also said in a statement it will keep official production targets unchanged for the rest of this year and limit combined oil output from January-December 2024 to 40.46M bbl/day. Saudi production would be down to 9Mbbl/day, which would be its lowest output level since June 2021. In 2024 they will change they may lower with KSA taking a voluntary cut depending on baselines

  • Saturday OPEC ministerial meeting starting at 13:00 CET
  • Sunday OPEC+ JMMC starting at 11:00 CET
  • Sunday OPEC+ ministerial meeting starting at 12:00 CET

Heading into the June 4 OPEC+ meeting OPEC’s crude oil output fell 0.5m b/d last month (BBG survey) to 28.26m b/d, a 15-mth low. Cuts from key GCC producers being partly offset by increases from members without or those pumping below quota, most notably Angola (60k b/d), Iraq (80k b/d) and Nigeria (180k b/d) @Ole_S_Hansen

via Ole Hansen/Bloomberg 4/4/23

Weather Watch

Gulf of Mexico

WTI Crude Oil Futures Technical Analysis

via KnovaWave @KnovaWave

US Crude Oil (WTI)

Daily:  WTI Crude Oil tested the 77.50 (near 200dma) and option confluence back through the minor pennant resistance. The move comes after the sharp spillover emotive wave up week creating a clear break over the 50 dma, Kijun and Tenkan kiss of life. The move up came after completing the correction in 3 wave from gap fill and fail of the daily bull flag back in Oct/Nov. For bulls needs to break above those descending levels for higher. We are in a completive mode with this impulse, it’s a question of degree on the topside, use the Murrey math 240/60 grid. From there down in 3 waves, completing a C or IV? Support is previous lows. The bear case is the high was a complete 5.

Weekly: WTI crude Oil futures simply gathered downside momentum since it spat the key 61.8% with impulse, having plunged more than $60 off the June highs. WTI was never able to take on its sphere of influence which is causing resistance now as it has bounced off the double bottom through Kijun. The overhead is 50wma for the upside. Recall WTI completed 3 waves and spat the 50wma after the since filled OPEC+ gap up underscoring its weakness. Recent lows underscore the support, no less than 5 times since April 2021. Risk support is the grid. Long term 61.8% target fueled the spit of a spit by after rebalanced Chikou sated. Resistance 50wma, Support Weekly Kijun, tenkan, cloud and Murrey Math levels and previous breaks (off monthly). Bear case is Wave 5 complete.

The key is crowd behavior to help tell the story which in energy is often around geopolitics. A great example of why we watch ABC corrections and from here we get the energy from the break being balanced. This move that was powered by 50 dma Tenkan spit of a spit – hence the fractal energies reverberations.

These are special times, recall “After we regained the pattern 261.8% from the extreme (-$40) move. The climax of the larger acceleration lower after broke the weekly uptrend, a fractal of the sharp and all the way to all-time lows to negative pricing we have seen mirror replications.” Above we have Murrey Math time and price

What we broke…….

Crude Oil in the past quarter built a huge bull flag. We watch if the recent break was false, or we fail. Very clear pattern.

The focus remains 85.61-88.01 a region defined by the 2013 low, the 100% extension of the March decline and the 61.8.% retracement of the November advance. A break below opened up the objective 2020 yearly open and 2018 high at 75.35-76.87 which gave away and has held on to attempts to get above. This is an area of interest for downside exhaustion and price inflection potentially.

Crude Oil Futures Commitment of Traders

Latest ICE and CFTC Open Interest Data:

CTFC and ICE open interest:

Money managers increased their net-length in Brent crude oil futures and options by 48,123 contracts to 233,029 in the week ending July 11 via ICE

  • Long-only positions rose by 25,023
  • Short-only positions fell by 23,100
  • other reportables net-length fell by 6,957

Money managers increased their net-length in WTI crude oil futures and options by 32,847 contracts to 128,211 in the week ending July 11 via CFTC

  • Long-only positions rose by 21,770
  • Short-only positions fell by 11,077
  • other reportables net-length fell by 1,399
July 11, 2023

Chart: Crude net-positioning of non-commercial accounts (=managed money and other reportables) in barrels and in US dollars (Brent and WTI futures and options combined) latest value is July 11, 2023

COT on Commodities

COT in Oil Complex week to June 20:  COT showed 19k lots of net crude oil buying led by Brent (16k). The comb. long at 297k lots was within the recent range, but during this time positions have increasingly been moved to Brent (+84k) at the expense of WTI (-53.4k). Gasoil buying lifted the net to a two-month high at 16k lots via Ole S Hansen @Ole_S_Hansen

Money managers in commodities covering the week to June 20: COT on commodities showed leverage accounts focus their buying interest on grains, copper, crude oil, natgas and sugar  via Ole S Hansen @Ole_S_Hansen


via Ole S Hansen @Ole_S_Hansen


Understanding DCOT Reports

Read Understanding Commitments of Traders Reports – COT, TFF and DCOT  to help understand the disaggregated reports (DCOT) and how they break down the reportable open interest positions into four classifications:

1. Producer/Merchant/Processor/User 2. Swap Dealers 3. Managed Money 4. Other Reportables

Crude Oil Option Volatility Watch

The sharp move in WTI to $63 in May and then rebound came after ten-day volatility in oil rose the highest level since October as crude sank for a third week. It gives a good indicator of complacency and optionality out there in slow price ranges. API reported big product draws which is supportive for the cracks. The contango structure and inflation having cooled from its recent peak, but remaining stubbornly elevated adds a volatile dynamic around settlements. The US regional banking disaster filtered through to commodities such as oil, copper and natural gas.

Ten-day volatility in oil jumped to the highest level since October as crude sank for a third week.



NYMEX LO = Crude Oil Options First 3 Months (Live Link)


NYMEX LO & ICE North Sea Brent BRN Crude Oil Options (Live Link)



NYMEX LO NYMEX OB Options (Live Link)


Energy Earnings Highlights for Q4 2022

Key EIA and CME Dates for WTI Crude Oil

Key EIA and CME Dates For WTI Crude Oil

From The TradersCommunity US Research Desk