- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

CUSHING, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma town known as the “Pipeline Crossroads of the World” is again the focus of the global energy industry.

The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1w5EWf5 ) reports that Cushing is home to the nation’s largest oil storage facility, a complex capable of holding more than 80 million barrels of crude oil. As oil prices have plummeted over the last several months, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said companies have stockpiled about 2.2 million barrels a week at Cushing.

Companies hope to sell the oil at higher prices when prices rise again because the oil market is currently in contango, which means that oil delivered in the future will be worth more than oil delivered now.

As of Feb. 13, the facility is holding almost 46.3 million barrels, valued at about $2.4 billion. Brian Busch, director of oil markets and business development at energy data and analysis firm Genscape, says that the facility could reach operational capacity by April if this rate continues. The operational capacity is about 80 percent of its total capacity.

If the total capacity is reached and oil production continues to outpace demand, then prices will fall.

“I don’t think we’ll continue to fill at that rate. We saw some drop-off this week,” Busch said. “But I think Cushing will be filled sometime in May.”

Cushing has seen its capacity nearly filled before. Throughout 2010 and 2011, Oklahoma, North Dakota and other states were producing more oil than the existing pipelines could handle causing the Cushing facility to fill up.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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