The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report on the condition of petroleum inventories in the United States today.
Here are some highlights:
Crude oil inventories increased by 1.9 million barrels to a total of 341.0 million barrels. At 341.0 million barrels, inventories are 17.2 million barrels below last year (-4.4%) and are above average.
Gasoline inventories increased by 0.8 million barrels to 214.9 million barrels. At 214.9 million barrels, inventories are now 7.7 million barrels, or 3.5% lower than last year. Regions posting gains in inventories last week were the Midwest (+1.0mb), and East Coast (2.4mb). Decreases were seen on the Gulf Coast (-2.1mb) and the West Coast (0.6mb). The Rockies inventory remained even with the previous week at 5.5. mb. 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 0.1 million barrels to a total of 157.7 million barrels. At 157.7 million barrels, inventories are now 9.2% lower than a year ago. Distillate inventories are 15.9 million barrels lower than their year ago level.
Refinery utilization declined to 87.8%, a decrease of 0.5% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased last week to 9.3 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production also increased to 4.6 million from 4.5 million barrels per day recorded in the prior week.
Refineries in the Midwest PADD operated at the highest utilization- some 95.2% of capacity. Refiners in the Gulf Coast PADD came in second at 88.2% while refiners in the West Coast PADD came in third with 86.2%. Rockies refiners operated at 79.8% capacity while East Coast refineries rat at 75.4% of capacity. 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, you are more likely to see prices rise.
Total oil stocks in the United States are down 59.6 million barrels (-5.2%) over last year and stand at 1.079 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).
The U.S. imported 541,000 barrels per day of gasoline and 150,000bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same time frame, the U.S. exported 336,000bpd of gasoline and 881,000bpd of distillates. In total, U.S. refineries exported 2.5 million barrels per DAY of oil and products!
Refinery runs as expected- refineries that refine more expensive oil (West/East Coast) continue to see low runs while areas that refine cheap Canadian oil (Midwest) continue to see high runs. East Coast refinery utilization declining to 75.4% (-3.7% from the previous week) raises concerns.