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 3.4 million barrels to a total of 366.5 million barrels. At 366.5 million barrels, inventories are 6.0 million barrels above last year (1.7%) and are above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma rose 0.1 million barrels to 40.5 million barrels this week.

Gasoline inventories decreased 1.0 million barrels to 204.5 million barrels. At 204.5 million barrels, inventories are now 20.4 million barrels, or 9.1% lower than last year (last week that number was 8.1% lower). Regions posting gains in inventories last week were the Midwest (+0.1mb) and West Coast (+0.6mb). Decreases were seen on the East Coast (-1.7mb), Rockies (-0.1mb), and the Gulf Coast (-0.1mb).

Distillate inventories decreased by 1.4 million barrels to a total of 145.1 million barrels. At 145.1 million barrels, inventories are now 4.8% lower than a year ago. Supply of distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 6.9% over the last four weeks (last week the number was 7.3% over last year). Distillate inventories are now 7.3 million barrels lower than their year ago level.

Refinery utilization rose to 82.7%, a rise of 0.1% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased slightly last week to 8.8 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.2 million barrels per day, an increase over the prior week.

Refineries in the Midwest PADD operated at the highest utilization- some 88.1% of capacity. Refiners in the Rockies PADD came in second at 86.7% while refiners in the Gulf Coast PADD came in third with 83.2%. 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 82.9% of their capacity while East Coast plants ran 66.8% of their available capacity.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline- decreased 8,000bpd to 875,000 barrels per day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are down 41.6 million barrels (3.8%) over last year and stand at 1.0411 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).