With Spring approaching, more and more eyes will be focusing on how much fuel and oil the U.S. has in its inventories. This has been important in recent years as demand came close to matching supply. In recent months, we've also lost ground as refiners and OPEC cuts have resulted in less product supplied.

These numbers all come from the Energy Information Administration, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy. The numbers reflect the most recent data available- the week ending January 29, 2010. I compare the current weekly data to the same week in 2005-2009.


Crude Oil Stocks (Million Barrels, Excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve)
2010: 329.0 (- vs previous year)
2009: 346.1 (+ vs previous year)
2008: 300.0 (- vs previous year)
2007: 324.5 (+ vs previous year)
2006: 321.0 (+ vs previous year)
2005: 295.3

Motor Gasoline Stocks (Million Barrels)
2010: 228.1 (+ vs previous year)
2009: 220.2 (- vs previous year)
2008: 227.5 (+ vs previous year)
2007: 227.2 (+ vs previous year)
2006: 219.0 (+ vs previous year)
2005: 216.3

Distillate Fuel Oil (Million Barrels)
2010: 156.5 (+ vs previous year)
2009: 142.6 (+ vs previous year)
2008: 127.1 (- vs previous year)
2007: 136.3 (+ vs previous year)
2006: 136.0 (+ vs previous year)
2005: 118.6

Strategic Petroleum Reserve (Million Barrels)
2010: 726.6 (+ vs previous year)
2009: 703.5 (+ vs previous year)
2008: 698.2 (+ vs previous year)
2007: 688.6 (+ vs previous year)
2006: 683.7 (+ vs previous year)
2005: 678.6 (+ vs previous year)

Total Crude Oil and Petroleum Products (Million Barrels, Excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve)
2010: 1,046.0 (+ vs previous year)
2009: 1,042.1 (+ vs previous year)
2008: 980.9 (- vs previous year)
2007: 1,031.7 (+ vs previous year)
2006: 1,022.2 (+ vs previous year)
2005: 957.7

Total Crude Oil and Petroleum Products (Million Barrels, INCLUDING the Strategic Petroleum Reserve)
2010: 1,772.6 (+ vs previous year)
2009: 1,745.6 (+ vs previous year)
2008: 1,679.1 (- vs previous year)
2007: 1,720.3 (+ vs previous year)
2006: 1,705.9 (+ vs previous year)
2005: 1,636.4

In 2010, five of six indicators showed higher inventories than the previous year.
In 2009, five of six indicators showed higher inventories than the previous year.
In 2008, two of six indicators showed higher inventories than the previous year.
In 2007, six of six indicators showed higher inventories than the previous year.
In 2006, six of six indicators showed higher inventories than the previous year.

You can see through the data why prices might have been more likely to rise in 2008 to the record high levels- fundamentals showed demand rising near to or exceeding supply, which partially caused a panic. Fundamentals also were not healthy in 2008, giving another concern. So far in 2010 things are shaping up well and demand is down, more than making up for the decrease in oil inventories.

This data is just one of the factors that I will be using in my forecast for 2010 Summer gasoline prices that I continue to work on and will release in the future. Early indications are that the difference between prices now and on Memorial Day will not be as significant as they have been in years past.