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 2.1 million barrels to a total of 352.8 million barrels. At 352.8 million barrels, inventories are 1.5 million barrels above last year (0.4%) and are above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma rose 0.2 million barrels to 40.2 million barrels this week.

Gasoline inventories decreased 5.4 million barrels to 219.7 million barrels, likely as they drain the system of winter spec (high RVP) gasoline. At 219.7 million barrels, inventories are now 4.8 million barrels, or 2.2% lower than last year (last week that number was 1.0% lower). The Rockies region was the only area that didn't see a drop in inventories, staying unchanged. Decreases were seen on the East Coast (-2.0mb), Midwest (-1.2mb), Gulf Coast (-0.8mb), and the West Coast (-1.7mb).

Distillate inventories decreased by 0.0 million barrels to a total of 152.6 million barrels. At 152.6 million barrels, inventories are now 4.8% higher than a year ago. Supply of distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 3.6% over the last four weeks (last week the number was 3.8% over last year). Distillate inventories are now 6.9 million barrels above their year ago level.

Refinery utilization rose to 84.1%, a rise of 0.7% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased last week to 9.0 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.3 million barrels per day, an increase over the prior week.

Refineries in the Midwest operated at the highest utilization- some 87.4% of capacity. Refiners in the Rockies came in second at 87.0% while refiners on the Gulf Coast came in third with 85.3%. 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 79.6% of their capacity while East Coast plants ran 76.9% of their available capacity.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline- increased 18,000bpd to 913,000 barrels per day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are down 0.4 million barrels (0.0%) over last year and stand at 1.0388 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).