US propane inventories added 1 million barrels in the last week, but national stocks are still more than 10 million barrels below last year’s levels.
Figures released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration show propane stocks ended last week at 28.8 million barrels – up one million barrels on the previous week. That equates to 30 days’ supply of the liquid natural gas in storage. At the same time a year ago, the US had 45.8 days’ supply up its sleeve.
Production of propane has been hitting record levels, and this is traditionally the time of year that the propane industry begins its seasonal build as temperatures warm and people use less gas or heating oil to warm their homes. However a cold spring has combined with strong overseas demand for the gas, pushing up propane exports, to keep stocks relatively low. Increased demand from plastics-makers has also eaten into propane inventories.
Most of last week’s inventory build occurred in the US Midwest, which added 1.2 million barrels of new propane stock. The East Coast region added 400,000 barrels and the Rocky Mountain/West Coast stocks were up slightly. The Gulf Coast regional inventories dropped, however, by 600.000 barrels.