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 decreased by 5 million barrels to a total of 358.2 million barrels. At 358.2 million barrels, inventories are 10.9 million barrels above last year (3.1%) and remain above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma decreased some 200,000 barrels to 35.8 million barrels this week- the same drop we saw last week. Supplies at Cushing have fallen for three straight weeks.

Gasoline inventories increased 1.3 million barrels to 219.4 million barrels. At 219.4 million barrels, inventories are now 6.3 million barrels, or 3.0% higher than last year (last week that number was 3.3% higher). The only decrease in gasoline inventories were seen in the Midwest (-0.4mb). The East Coast posted a gain (0.6mb) last week, along with the Gulf Coast (0.8mb), and the West Coast (0.2mb).

Distillate inventories increased by 0.3 million barrels to a total of 159.7 million barrels. At 159.7 million barrels, inventories are 0.6% higher than a year ago (A week ago that number was 2.8%). Demand for distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 15.8% over the last four weeks. Distillate inventories are now 1.0 million barrels above their year ago level.

Refinery utilization increased slightly to 89.8%, a rise of 1.4% over last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week to 9.4 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.4 million barrels per day, a decrease over the prior week. Refineries in the Midwest operated at the highest utilization- some 93.8% of capacity. Refiners in the Rockies came in second at 92.1%. Refiners on the West Coast improved 4.0%, but again ran the lowest percent of available capacity at just 86.3%.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline in much of the U.S. was 855,000 barrels per day an increase of 23,000bbls/day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are down 12.7 million barrels (-1.1%) over last year and stand at 1.1142 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).