The EIA said on Tuesday that oil inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma have dropped 42% since the beginning of 2021. Current tank utilization at Cushing is only 43%, which is slightly lower than levels in 2018.
The Cushing storage hub is the crude oil delivery point for the NYMEX West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures contract and is home to 14% of U.S. commercial tank and underground crude oil working storage capacity.
In June of this year, 1.3 million barrels per day were being drawn from national stockpiles. Total withdrawals for June were 35 million barrels, a new record for the largest decline in U.S. crude stocks in history, according to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
Based on the 5 year average, crude stocks are 26% lower than normal and are continuing to decline as U.S. E&P's focus on improving profitability, not production growth. Until U.S. producers return a substantial number of rigs to the field, natural production declines will continue to push domestic production lower and prices higher.
According to Oilprice.com, crude withdrawals at Cushing are "consistent with withdrawals from inventories elsewhere in the world which generally indicate that consumption exceeds production."
The current inventory at Cushing totaled 32.9 million barrels as of 10 September 2021.