US propane stocks have posted their biggest increase this season, jumping by 3.1 million barrels in the last week.
Figures release yesterday by the Energy Information Administration show propane inventories stood at 44.6 million barrels for the week ending July 8 – the equivalent of 65.6 days’ supply. At the same time a year ago there were 51.6 million barrels in storage nationwide – the equivalent of 62.5 days’ supply.
The surge in propane inventories was led the Gulf Coast region, which posted an increase of 1.5 million barrels in the last week. The Midwest region gained one million barrels, East Coast stocks rose by 500,000 barrels and the Rocky Mountain/West Coast region’s stocks posted a marginal increase.
Propylene non-fuel use inventories represented 5.6 percent of total propane inventories.
Though a surge in horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing technology, or fracking, has led to record production of natural gas and propane, propane inventories have been tracking below last year’s levels this summer following a cold spring and heavy export demand from overseas. But the warmer weather is seeing less propane used to heat homes, meaning nationwide propane inventories are now growing fast.
Last week was the first time days’ supply in storage has surpassed last year’s levels. US propane reserves have now grown by 18.2 million barrels in the last 13 weeks.