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 decreased by 4.2 million barrels to a total of 335.3 million barrels. At 335.3 million barrels, inventories are 7.9 million barrels above last year (2.4%) and are now slightly above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma rose 0.9 million barrels to 37.5 million barrels this week.

Gasoline inventories increased 3.3 million barrels to 218.1 million barrels. At 218.1 million barrels, inventories are now 1.6 million barrels, or 0.7% lower than last year (last week that number was 0.5% lower). No decreases were in gasoline inventories last week. Gains were seen on the East Coast (+0.6mb), Midwest (+1.1mb), Gulf Coast (+1.1mb), Rockies (+0.3mb), and West Coast (+0.1mb).

Distillate inventories increased by 1.1 million barrels to a total of 162.1 million barrels. At 162.1 million barrels, inventories are now 1.9% higher than a year ago. Demand for distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 3.8% over the last four weeks (last week the number was 4.9%). Distillate inventories are now 3.1 million barrels above their year ago level.

Refinery utilization rose to 88.0%, a rise of 0.2% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week to just 8.9 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.6 million barrels per day, a decrease over the prior week.

Refineries on the Gulf Coast operated at the highest utilization- some 93.8% of capacity. Refiners in the Midwest came in second at 90.0% while refiners in the Rockies came in third with 83.8%. East Coast refiners took the position of utilizing the lowest percentage of their plants again last week (just barely), edging out the West Coast. West Coast plants ran at 80.5% of their capacity while East Coast plants ran 66.5% of their available capacity.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline- decreased 9,000bpd to 904,000 barrels per day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are now up 14.6 million barrels (1.4%) over last year and stand at 1.0637 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).