CALGARY, Alberta--Western Canadian crude inventories declined in June, energy information provider Genscape said on July 8, in line with a seasonal decrease in supply because of maintenance at oil sands projects in northern Alberta.
Stocks fell 219,000 barrels between the first and last Fridays in June, to total 30.5 million barrels (MMbbl) as of June 28. That was 9% lower than inventories in May, which totaled 33.6 MMbbl, and 18% lower than April's record high of 37.1 MMbbl.
The draw will be welcome news for Alberta's provincial government, which has eased oil production curtailments for August, setting the limit at 3.74 MMbbl/d.
Canada's main crude-producing province introduced curtailments effective Jan. 1 to help ease congestion on oil export pipelines and drain a glut of crude in storage tanks that was depressing prices.
"Inventory declines in the late spring months are common as production facilities normally shut for seasonal maintenance, resulting in decreased supply," said Hillary Stevenson, Genscape director of oil markets and business development.
Stevenson said stocks normally draw April through June and start building again in July.
Canadian crude-by-rail loadings were nearly flat in June, edging 1,000 bbl/d lower to 230,000 bpd. The plateau in crude-by-rail came after three months of steady gains, as more producers opted to bypass pipeline congestion and ship barrels by rail.
Husky, the operator and majority owner of the White Rose Field, said it expects production there to ramp up to about 20,000 barrels per day after the start-up.
Producers completed 5,749 wells in Texas from January to July versus 6,514 in the same period last year, the Railroad Commission of Texas said on Aug. 16.
Companies added six oil rigs in the week to Aug. 16, the biggest increase since April, bringing the total count to 770, Baker Hughes, a GE company, said in its weekly report.