Posted in: Default,
by Patrick DeHaan on May 19, 2010 11:12 AM
The Department of Energy released its weekly report on the condition of petroleum inventories in the United States today.
Here are some highlights:
Crude oil inventories increased by 0.2 million barrels to a total of 362.7 million barrels. At 362.7 million barrels, inventories are 1.1% lower than last year, but remain above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma rose to another record- 37.9 million barrels, the most ever recorded. This is important because Cushing is the delivery point for oil traded on the NYMEX.
Gasoline inventories decreased by 0.3 million barrels to a total of 221.8 million barrels. At 221.8 million barrels, inventories are 5.7% higher than last year. The only decrease in gasoline inventories were in the Midwest (-1.6mb). Gains were seen on the East Coast (+0.8), and the Gulf Coast (+0.4).
Distillate inventories increased by 1.0 million barrels to a total of 152.8 million barrels. At 152.8 million barrels, inventories are 1.1% higher than a year ago. Demand for distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 12.3% over the last four weeks, a leading sign of the health of the economy. This is a main reason why retail diesel prices remain above the price of gasoline.
Refinery utilization fell slightly to 87.9%, a decrease of 0.5% over last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased for the first time in two weeks to 9.2 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.2 million barrels per day.
Overall, a this report may lead to prices increasing on Wall Street as analysts expected a bigger build. However, debt concerns continue to mount as the dollar strengthens. It will be interesting to see what happens by the closing bell.