National propane stocks have continued their climb, adding 1.6 million barrels in the last week. But issuing its weekly petroleum inventory figures yesterday, the US Energy Department said propane reserves were still lagging behind last year’s levels – despite posting increases for the last 14 consecutive weeks.
As of July 22, the US had 48.2 million barrels of propane gas in storage. That’s the equivalent of 70 days’ supply at current demand. In comparison, there were 53 million barrels in reserve a year ago – which was the equivalent of 60.8 days’ supply at the time.
Days’ supply is calculated by the Energy Information Administration by measuring national propane stocks against the last four weeks’ average demand. If demand has been high, you’ll have proportionally less supply in storage.
There is currently an abundance of propane being produced domestically in the US thanks to bountiful shale reserves and new methods of extraction technology. But strong demand from overseas is eating into national inventories at a time when reserve stocks typically build during the warmer non-heating season.
Over half of last week’s stock build happened in the Midwest region, where regional inventories added 900,000 barrels. The Gulf Coast region added 500,000 barrels and the East Coast and Rocky Mountain/West Coast region each grew by 100,000 barrels.
Propylene non-fuel use inventories represented 5.5 percent of total propane inventories.
US propane reserves have now grown by 21.8 million barrels in nearly three months.