(Cushing, Okla) - Crude oil stocks at the Cushing Storage Hub continue to climb. The U.S. Energy Information Agency says stocks climbed by 600,000 barrels in the past week, marking a third consecutive week the storage hub has seen a gain.
The EIA says crude stocks stood at 32.1 million barrels for the reporting period ending October 28th, compared to 31.5 million barrels the week before.
Still, the current levels are below one year ago when crude stocks stood at 33.5 million barrels, and there was less storage available.
Two years ago, stocks stood at 25.5 million barrels.
Storage levels at Cushing are closely watched because Cushing is the delivery point for WTI futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile exchange. The glut of crude stored at Cushing has impacted pricing for WTI, the U.S. benchmark crude compared to Brent, the European benchmark, and has made crude storage a profitable venture. The potential increase in inflow to Cushing from Bakken production in North Dakota and Canadian Tar Sands production also has pipeline companies scrambling to build outflow pipelines to Gulf Coast refining markets.
Current storage capacity at Cushing is estimated to be in the range of 52 million barrels, but current and future construction plans for more storage tanks would raise storage levels to 70 to 75 million barrels within two years.