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 2.6 million barrels to a total of 335.7 million barrels. At 335.7 million barrels, inventories are 5.2 million barrels above last year (1.6%) and are now slightly above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma fell 0.6 million barrels to 36.8 million barrels this week.

Gasoline inventories increased 4.4 million barrels to 227.7 million barrels. At 227.7 million barrels, inventories are now 0.2 million barrels, or 0.1% higher than last year (last week that number was 0.1% lower). The only decrease in gasoline inventories occurred in the Rockies (-0.2mb). Gains were seen on the East Coast (+2.1mb), Midwest (+1.0mb), Gulf Coast (+1.3mb), and West Coast (+0.4mb).

Distillate inventories increased by 1.0 million barrels to a total of 165.8 million barrels. At 165.8 million barrels, inventories are now 5.5% higher than a year ago. Demand for distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 1.8% over the last four weeks (last week the number was 3.6%). Distillate inventories are now 8.7 million barrels above their year ago level.

Refinery utilization fell to 83.0%, a fall of 2.4% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased last week to 8.9 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.4 million barrels per day, a decrease over the prior week.

Refineries in the Midwest operated at the highest utilization- some 90.2% of capacity. Refiners on the Gulf Coast came in second at 86.0% while refiners in the Rockies came in third with 82.1%. 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 73.8% of their capacity while East Coast plants ran 66.4% of their available capacity.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline- increased 25,000bpd to 913,000 barrels per day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are now up 16.0 million barrels (1.5%) over last year and stand at 1.067 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).