DEFINITION of 'Crude Stockpiles'

Reserves of unrefined petroleum, measured in numbers of barrels. Oil producers use crude stockpiles to smooth out the impact of changes in supply and demand. Inventory levels are affected by OPEC's production decisions, political events, tax policy changes and other factors. Inventory levels affect the price of oil, with higher inventories leading to lower prices.

BREAKING DOWN 'Crude Stockpiles'

A major storage center for crude stockpiles in the United States is located in Cushing Oklahoma. The global strategic petroleum reserves have stockpiles around the world, including several locations in the U.S., for use during an energy crisis.

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