Western Canadian crude oil inventories fell in July to their lowest level in nearly two years, energy information provider Genscape said on Wednesday, as crude-by-rail shipments accelerated.
Total stocks were 27.7 million barrels as of July 26, down sharply from the record high of 37.1 million barrels set in April. The inventories were the lowest since November 2017.
The decline follows Alberta government production curtailments that were imposed on Jan. 1 to help drain a glut of crude in storage and boost Canadian crude prices. The province has gradually reduced its restrictions and oil companies are allowed to produce 3.76 million barrels per day (bpd) in September.
Genscape data reflected a continued recovery in Canadian crude-by-rail loadings, which averaged 248,000 bpd in July, up 18,000 bpd from June and reaching the highest monthly average since January.
Canadian crude-by-rail shipments slowed in early 2019 after the Alberta government introduced curtailments that had an immediate impact on prices and made crude-by-rail uneconomic.