The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report on the condition of petroleum inventories in the United States today.

Here are some highlights:

CRUDE INVENTORIES:
Crude oil inventories increased by 5.0 million barrels to a total of 334.6 million barrels. At 334.6 million barrels, inventories are 1.5 million barrels above last year (0.5%) and are above the upper limit of the average range.

GASOLINE INVENTORIES:
Gasoline inventories increased by 3.6 million barrels to 223.8 million barrels. At 223.8 million barrels, inventories are 0.6 million barrels, or 0.3% higher than last year. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (+1.3mb); Midwest (+2.0mb); Gulf Coast (-0.9mb); Rockies (-0.1mb); and West Coast (+1.6mb). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling inventories), or down (in the case of rising inventories).

DISTILLATE (diesel, heating oil) INVENTORIES:
Distillate inventories increased by 4.0 million barrels to a total of 147.6 million barrels. At 147.6 million barrels, inventories are now 10.4% lower than a year ago. Total distillate inventories stand 17.2 million barrels lower than their year ago level.

REFINERY OUTPUT/UTILIZATION:
Refinery utilization rose to 85.6%, a rise of 0.6% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week averaging 8.7 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production decreased, averaging just under 4.8 million barrels per day.

Utilization rates for the last week were as follows: East Coast: 53.1%, Midwest: 97.8%, Gulf Coast: 87.0%, Rocky Mountain: 92.8%, West Coast: 83.0%. These percentages show how much of a region's overall capacity were used to refine oil. It is important to note these percentages, because the lower the utilization percent, the lower output, which has a direct impact on local gasoline prices. If refiners in your region have low output, your more likely to see prices rise.

OVERALL SUPPLY:
Total oil stocks in the United States are down 10.9 million barrels (-1.0%) over last year and stand at 1.054 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).

IMPORTS/EXPORTS:
The U.S. imported 525,000 barrels per day of gasoline and 166,000bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same time frame, the U.S. exported 523,000bpd of gasoline and 1.1mbpd (million barrels per day) of distillates. In total, U.S. refineries exported nearly 2.9 million barrels per DAY of oil and products! (These are last week's numbers as new numbers become available on Thursday)

COMMENTS:
A good report overall, note East Coast refineries still lag considerably, showing the poor refining economics in that region. Refiners there only used 53% of capacity. The story here even against rising inventories is that a shutdown of the Strait of Hormuz could wipe out a significant portion of inventories. This report will likely slow increases into the next week or two, but it won't stop price increases for at least a week, even if oil prices do fall after this report.