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0 Feb 2 2012 @ 10:55am by Matt Smith in Crude Oil, Global Energy, Natural Gas, UK natural gas

Store Wars!

Ok, ok, I’ll put the Star Wars theme to bed. For today, my friends, we are going to look at some facts and figures about storage across a number of our dearly beloved commodities and a number of geographies – highlighting (for the most part) a theme of staunch stockpiles.  

To further provide some educational information, in addition to the focus on energy, there is also some trivia relating to the ultimate sultan of storage…the squirrel. So enjoy!


–UK natural gas storage is still approximately three quarters full at 74%,  nearly double the level it was this time last year. In contrast to the UK in 2010 experiencing the coldest December on record, the entire year of 2011 turned out to be the second warmest on record, with a mild start to winter setting up a weak demand environment (and strong storage) for UK natty in 2012.     

UK natural gas storage level

–Apparently a squirrel eats up to 9,000 nuts in its lifetime, but likely stores double that (but is too absent-minded to remember where).  

–Crude oil stockpiles in the US sit at a healthy 338 million barrels. In addition to this, there is nearly 700 million barrels stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  

US crude stocks (ex SPR)

–Swot up on those squirrel smarts with this squirrel quiz!  

–US natural gas storage is at a 586 Bcf surplus to last year (= 25%), while the surplus to the five-year average sits at an even more humongous 601 Bcf, as near-record supply and a warm winter head off demand at the pass.  

US natural gas storage level

–A squirrel acorn stash caused a car to breakdown this winter (in a Beverly Hills Cop stuff-something-in-the-tailpipe kind of way).   

–Gasoline inventories in the US are at the same elevated level as last year, as demand remains exceptionally weak. High retail prices, persistently high unemployment, and gaining efficiencies from the auto sector has seen gasoline demand reach a ten-year low, currently 7.3% lower than the four-week average of last year.   

Gasoline inventories

–Squirrels produce two litters a year, whose timing coincides with the two sets of shoulder months for natural gas of spring and early fall.   

–Despite strong stockpiles in the US, the OECD in general has seen depleting stock levels in the last year, predominantly due to the loss of supply from Libya (OECD = Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development = 34 member countries including most of Europe, the US, Canada and Japan).

–A squirrel stores so much because it eats its own body weight in nuts and seeds in a week.

Storage levels and squirrels. In one word…nuts.

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