The historic drop in oil prices has created a backlog of inventories, most of which are stored in tanks in the United States and other industrialized countries that regularly report on their latest stock levels. However, millions of barrels also end up in destinations where they are more difficult to count.
Some countries, such as Russia and China, not even report on their crude storage levels. In addition, operators and oil companies that dock floating warehouses have no obligation to make public their supplies. The International Energy Agency estimated in June that floating storage reached 95 million barrels, the highest level since 2009.