10,000 Barrels at Cushing

2018 was a good year for our energy product.

We expanded coverage to over 25,000 tanks monitoring over five billion barrels of oil storage capacity worldwide, which is more coverage than anyone else. We expanded our satellite imagery library to unprecedented depth and breadth by combining the best qualities of electro-optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) observations. As a result, we were able to produce measurements that strongly correlate to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly Cushing numbers, which are survey-based but trusted by energy traders.

While correlation with Cushing for us means predicting build and draw volumes within a statistically significant degree of accuracy, January 11, 2019 marked a milestone for Orbital Insight. We’re proud to announce that we came within 10,000 barrels of the EIA’s figure for that week. To put that in perspective, the EIA reported a 740,000 barrel draw at Cushing on January 11 and we reported 750,000 – a 99.9% hit.

How to beat the EIA

Predicting the EIA’s weekly estimates requires an observational frequency that track inventory changes before the survey results are published each Wednesday. To nail this figure, Orbital Insight relies on its long existing partnership network that enables us to continually source and analyze above-ground floating roof tanks (FRTs) with a multispectral advantage. Multispectral means that we not only ingest electro-optical imagery, but also SAR imagery, which gives us the ability to see through the clouds.

Orbital Insight Energy

Orbital Insight Energy tracks thousands of global oil storage tanks daily, including Cushing.

EO and SAR: The Best of Both Worlds

There are several key oil storage terminals in the world that are perpetually cloud covered, such as Rotterdam and Shandong. This is where Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology comes into play. SAR uses radar waves to reflect and return useful elevation and geometric information and, does not require light, making measurements possible on cloudy days and during the night. Its depth is the perfect compliment to the breadth provided by EO technology, however, there are few SAR satellites in deployment.

Orbital Insight Energy SAR

Orbital Insight Energy uses SAR imagery to calculate tank fill rates at key storage terminals.

Fortunately, Orbital Insight Energy compliments the focused SAR coverage with the breadth of electro-optical (EO) imagery. The proliferation of commercial space is rooted in electro-optical imagery and small satellites, making EO perfect for the scope needed to monitor the world’s daily oil inventories. As a global oil product, Orbital Insight Energy accurately monitors thousands of oil storage tanks with high revisit rates on any given day by combining the best of both worlds of EO and SAR imagery.

Orbital Insight Energy EO

Orbital Insight Energy uses electro-optical imagery to calculate tank fill rates from shadows.

Thanks to our unique utilization of EO and SAR to give the best possible reading commercially available, making it possible to come within 10,000 barrels of the EIA’s Cushing number.

However, we are providing this level of granularity on a daily basis, not just weekly. Orbital Insight Energy’s depth and quality makes daily oil storage monitoring possible on a global scale. When 80% of the world’s crude oil inventories were non-existent or unreliable, we can certainly feel proud about publishing daily oil storage numbers on a global scale.

As 2,200 additional earth observation satellites are predicted to deploy over the next ten years, we’re excited for greater observational frequency, which we’ll transform into objective and transparent daily insight for any energy trader looking for an advantage.

Interested in evaluating Orbital Insight Energy? Contact sales@orbitalinsight.com.

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