The Mid-Continent trading and storage hub at Cushing, OK is the nation’s largest commercial crude tank farm – with an estimated 73 MMBbl of working storage capacity according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The latest weekly EIA Petroleum Supply report (January 29, 2016) indicated inventory levels at Cushing just over 64 million barrels – 24 thousand barrels below the all-time high set two weeks previously. That is only 88% of working capacity by some calculations that indicate there is still room in the tanks for more crude. Yet market sources report that some storage operators are turning away incoming barrels. Today we examine what may be happening.
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