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Tanks, gluts and contangos

A rush on storage capacity to deal with oil’s excess is buoying storage rates, from Rotterdam to Cushing and beyond

Oversupply of crude and contango in the forward curve have offered handsome rewards to anyone with capacity to stash oil. It’s been a bonanza period for storage owners. Stocks have built and built. Total commercial crude inventories in rich nations surged again in January, rising by more than 20m barrels to 3.034bn, according to the International Energy Agency. It left levels at 338m barrels, or about 10%, above their normal range for that time of year and almost 270m barrels higher than during the same period of 2015. It means more than 0.7m barrels a day poured straight into OECD tank farms over the 12 months. Investors in the biggest storage firms have reaped the rewards. Most storage f

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