There’s still no letup in the massive gusher of oil flowing into US storage. In today’s weekly inventory report from the Department of Energy (DoE), crude oil inventories rose by 8.17 million barrels, which was once again significantly higher than expected. The top chart below compares weekly crude oil inventories so far in 2015 to average levels over the last ten years and since 1983. With this week’s increase, we once again had to adjust the y-axis of our chart in order to fit the 2015 levels. While it is common to see crude oil inventories rise at this time of year, this year’s eleven week streak of increases is tied with 2004 for the longest stretch of consecutive weekly increases on record. As a result, current inventories are 134 million barrels (38%) more than they normally are at this time of year.
The chart below shows the rolling 10-week change in crude oil inventories going back to 1983. In the last ten weeks, inventories have risen by a total of 79.1 million barrels, which is easily the largest 10-week build on record. It also eclipsed the prior record of 43.9 million barrels from 2001 by more than 80%!