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EIA updates monthly hydrocarbon gas liquids storage data to include end user storage

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Tanks and Terminals,

EIA’s March 2022 Petroleum Supply Monthly reported 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 its reported wholesale terminal stocks. Starting in January 2021, the EIA expanded the scope of its 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 our estimate of product supplied, which we use as a proxy for consumption of petroleum products. Revisions that increase inventory builds will tend to lower our estimate of product supplied and vice versa.

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 in 2022, 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 March 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.

With this revision, it was found that US HGL stocks during some months of 2021 were as much as 10 million bbl greater than the EIA's 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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