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 0.9 million barrels to a total of 345.9 million barrels. At 345.9 million barrels, inventories are 11.4 million barrels above last year (3.4%) and are much above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma rose 0.3 million barrels to 37.7 million barrels this week.

Gasoline inventories increased 0.2 million barrels to 240.9 million barrels. At 241.1 million barrels, inventories are now 9.0 million barrels, or 3.9% higher than last year (last week that number was 4.5% higher). The only decreases in gasoline inventories occurred on the Gulf Coast (-2.1mb) and the West Coast (-0.2mb). Gains were seen on the East Coast (+0.2mb), Midwest (+2.0mb), and Rockies (+0.2mb).

Distillate inventories decreased by 3.1 million barrels to a total of 161.3 million barrels. At 161.3 million barrels, inventories are now 5.2% higher than a year ago. Supply of distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is down an average of 2.7% over the last four weeks (last week the number was +0.1%). Distillate inventories are now 8.2 million barrels above their year ago level.

Refinery utilization fell to 81.2%, a fall of 3.5% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased last week to 9.2 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.0 million barrels per day, a decrease over the prior week.

Refineries in the Midwest operated at the highest utilization- some 93.0% of capacity. Refiners in the Rockies came in second at 86.8% while refiners on the Gulf Coast came in third with 79.4%. West Coast refiners took the position of utilizing the lowest percentage of their plants again last week (just barely), edging out the East Coast. West Coast plants ran at 74.2% of their capacity while East Coast plants ran 75.1% of their available capacity.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline- decreased 7,000bpd to 893,000 barrels per day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are now up 24.2 million barrels (2.3%) over last year and stand at 1.0697 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).