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 2.5 million barrels to a total of 348.9 million barrels. At 348.9 million barrels, inventories are 5.9 million barrels above last year (1.7%) and are slightly above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma rose 1.7 million barrels to 40.3 million barrels this week.

Gasoline inventories decreased 5.5 million barrels to 229.2 million barrels. At 229.2 million barrels, inventories are now 0.2 million barrels, or 0.1% higher than last year (last week that number was 1.2% higher). No regions reported an increase in gasoline inventories. Decreases were seen on the East Coast (-0.9mb), Midwest (-0.7mb), Gulf Coast (-3.6mb), the Rockies (-0.1mb), and West Coast (-0.3mb).

Distillate inventories decreased by 4.0 million barrels to a total of 155.2 million barrels. At 155.2 million barrels, inventories are now 3.7% higher than a year ago. Supply of distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 4.1% over the last four weeks (last week the number was 0.3% higher). Distillate inventories are now 5.6 million barrels above their year ago level.

Refinery utilization rose to 82.0%, a rise of 1.1% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week to 9.0 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.1 million barrels per day, a decrease over the prior week.

Refineries in the Rockies operated at the highest utilization- some 88.7% of capacity. Refiners in the Midwest came in second at 86.5% while refiners on the Gulf Coast came in third with 80.5%. East Coast refiners took the position of utilizing the lowest percentage of their plants last week , edging out the West Coast. West Coast plants ran at 82.6% of their capacity while East Coast plants ran 75.0% of their available capacity.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline- increased 1,000bpd to 883,000 barrels per day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are now up 3.5 million barrels (0.3%) over last year and stand at 1.0448 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).