FUJAIRAH, Fuel stockpiles used by shippers and for power generation jumped to a record high on Monday at the Port of Fujairah in the UAE, the strongest sign yet of dwindling storage space for oil products in the region as demand evaporates due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Stockpiles of heavy distillates and residues, used by shippers and for power generation, jumped seven percent over the week ended Monday to 15.445 million barrels, the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone reported Wednesday.
That’s the most since the data started being compiled by S&P Global Platts in January 2017. The previous record was 15.425 million barrels on 18th November last year.
Total stockpiles, covering light, middle and heavy distillates, rose 3.5 percent to 23.701 million barrels, the highest since 24th February, when the total was a record 25.98 million barrels. Capacity for oil products and crude oil storage is about 60 million barrels.
The stockpiles don’t show how Fujairah Oil Tanker Terminals has been growing consistently this year. Total throughput for all of February was 6.1 million mt, the second highest month ever, according to the most recent FOTT report. Bunker volume alone was 460,923 mt in February, down 16 percent from a year earlier and 25 percent lower than the peak volume handled in March 2019, it said.
“There is demand for more storage of crude oil, jet fuel and gasoline,” Malek Azizeh, Commercial Director of Fujairah Oil Terminal FZC, told Platts on Wednesday. “In any single week, inventories can go up as much as 90 percent and down 60 percent. They’re just a snapshot for that day. It doesn’t tell you what’s happening the entire week, which is showing growing throughput.”
Fujairah Oil Terminal is one of the 11 storage companies reporting weekly inventory to the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone. It has about five million barrels of crude and oil products in storage currently, out of capacity of 7.5 million barrels, Azizeh said. All 7.5 million barrels capacity is fully contracted, he added.
Stockpiles of middle distillates, including jet fuel, jumped ten percent to 2.53 million barrels, a three-week high. The category also covers kerosene, gasoil, diesel and marine gasoil.
Light distillate stocks fell six percent on the week to 5.726 million barrels, the lowest since 30th December 2019. Light distillates are gasoline, gasoline blending products such as reformate and alkylate, naphtha and other light petrochemical feedstocks and condensates that are stored in white product tanks. A source said condensates had been building up, and now appear to be drawing down.
Platts holds exclusive rights to publish Fujairah oil products inventory data, and has deployed a blockchain network for its collation.
Source: Emirates News Agency