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 3.8 million barrels to a total of 370.3 million barrels. At 370.3 million barrels, inventories are 7.8 million barrels above last year (2.2%) and are above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma rose 1.1 million barrels to 41.6 million barrels this week.

Gasoline inventories increased 1.3 million barrels to 205.8 million barrels. At 205.8 million barrels, inventories are now 16.3 million barrels, or 7.3% lower than last year (last week that number was 9.1% lower). Regions posting gains in inventories last week were the East Coast (+3.5mb), Midwest (+0.0mb), and the Rockies (+0.0mb). Decreases were seen on the Gulf Coast (-0.3mb) and the West Coast (-1.8mb).

Distillate inventories decreased by 0.8 million barrels to a total of 144.3 million barrels. At 144.3 million barrels, inventories are now 6.2% lower than a year ago. Supply of distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 4.5% over the last four weeks (last week the number was 6.9% over last year). Distillate inventories are now 9.5 million barrels lower than their year ago level.

Refinery utilization fell to 81.7%, a drop of 1.0% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased slightly last week to 8.9 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.2 million barrels per day, a decrease over the prior week.

Refineries in the Midwest PADD operated at the highest utilization- some 85.8% of capacity. Refiners in the Gulf Coast PADD came in second at 83.9% while refiners in the Rockies PADD came in third with 81.4%. 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 77.6% of their capacity while East Coast plants ran 68.1% of their available capacity.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline- decreased 13,000bpd to 862,000 barrels per day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are down 38.6 million barrels (3.6%) over last year and stand at 1.0475 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).