Propane Inventories Continue Climb

Propane inventories continue to grow but the EIA warns reserve stocks are still lagging compared to last year's levels. (image: Blue Flame Gas, Inc)

US propane inventories have posted another build but reserve stocks are still lagging behind last year’s levels.

Releasing its weekly inventories figures on Thursday, the US Energy Information Administration said domestic propane stocks added 900,000 barrels in the last week. Propane inventories now stand at 56.2 million barrels – the equivalent of 57.7 days’ supply at current usage rates.

In contrast, there were 63.4 million barrels in storage at the same time last year – the equivalent of 61.9 days’ supply at last year’s rate of consumption.

“Stocks were 7.2 million barrels less than last year’s level and tracked below the average range for this time of year,” the EIA said in a statement.

The summer and spring months have seen propane stocks post successive weekly builds, which is typical during the heating off-season when less propane gas is required to fuel heating burners in homes and businesses. And although propane stocks have now risen for 22 of the last 23 weeks, reserve supplies have still not kept pace with inventory figures from last year – largely due to strong overseas demand for the gas.

Earlier this month propane inventories posted their first weekly fall in over five months, signaling the likely return of cooler weather and onset of heavier winter demand.

The East Coast and Gulf Coast regions both posted the biggest inventory builds last week, adding 300,000 barrels each. The Midwest region was up by 200,000 barrels and the Rocky Mountain/West Coast region posted a marginal increase.

Propylene non-fuel use inventories represented 5.7 percent of total propane inventories in the last week, EIA figures show.

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