I have been plotting By The Numbers article since I started publishing it in early August. Some interesting things, maybe alarming, have been occurring in the oil business.
Since August, in the Figure above, crude oil production is up about 4%. However, refinery utilization is down about 6% and gross refinery input is down about 8%.
In the next Figure, natural gas liquids production is up just a little. In contrast, petroleum inventories are up nearly 2%, while crude oil exports is up 35.6%.
In conclusion, this is both a good and bad situation. Good because oil production and exports are up. Bad because refineries are less utilized and inventories are still rising. It appears that oil is being exported instead of refined. That’s ok. So long as inventories come down significantly because we are currently at the highest levels in our history.