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EIA’s monthly hydrocarbon gas liquids storage data now includes end user storage

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

The release of EIA’s March 2022 Petroleum Supply Monthly now reports inventories of hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL) that include volumes of ethane, propane, normal butane, isobutane, and natural gasoline at end user storage facilities as part of the their reported wholesale terminal stocks. Starting in January 2021, the EIA expanded the scope of their Monthly Bulk Terminal Report to include HGLs held by selected end users with at least 50 000 bbl of storage capacity and by smaller facilities that can ship products by pipeline, tanker, or barge. This more comprehensive approach to inventory accounting also affects the EIA’s estimate of product supplied, which they use as a proxy for consumption of petroleum products. Revisions that increase inventory builds will tend to lower the EIA’s estimate of product supplied and vice versa.

EIA’s monthly hydrocarbon gas liquids storage data now includes end user storage

Starting with the March 2022 Petroleum Supply Monthly, monthly reported HGL inventories in January 2022 and all subsequent months will reflect stocks at all bulk terminals, including end user storage facilities meeting the reporting requirements. Later this year, the EIA will also revise monthly HGL inventory values for 2021.

Each Petroleum Supply Monthly includes an appendix table of data revisions for several major data series, including for total HGLs and propane. In the release, this appendix, Impact of Revisions on Major Series, 2021, shows the effects of the survey change for total US HGL inventory and, within HGLs, US propane inventory for monthly values going back to January 2021. The revised data for 2021 will not appear in tables currently published on the EIA’s website until the release of the August 2022 Petroleum Supply Monthly and the 2022 Petroleum Supply Annual.

With this revision, the EIA found that US HGL stocks during some months of 2021 were as much as 10 million bbl greater than their published values. In October 2021, total US HGL inventories reached 235.7 million bbl, which is 5.4 million bbl more than the currently published total of 230.3 million bbl.

In February 2021, when a winter storm limited much of the petrochemical consumption in the Gulf Coast region, the revised inventories reduce product supplied by nearly 80 000 fewer bpd of US HGL consumption. In October 2021, when the price of propane and other HGLs rose rapidly, revised inventory data show a slower build in stocks, resulting in an additional 146 000 bpd of US HGL product supplied above currently reported values, approximately 45 000 bpd of which was propane.

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