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 2.0 million barrels to a total of 356.2 million barrels. At 356.2 million barrels, inventories are 2.7% lower than last year, but remain above average.

Gasoline inventories increased by 2.5 million barrels to a total of 222.4 million barrels. At 222.4 million barrels, inventories are 2.7% higher than last year, but still lower than they were in 2008.

Distillate inventories increased by 1.1 million barrels to a total of 145.7 million barrels. At 145.7 million barrels, inventories are 1.3% higher than a year ago. While this may seem good, distillate inventories have decreased for almost a year straight. This week's build in distillates is the first week-on-week increase since this January.

Refinery utilization jumped to 84.5%, a near 2% jump over last week's numbers. It would appear that refiners are beginning to increase production of gasoline to satisfy the increased demand compared to a year ago. Gasoline demand has averaged nearly 2% higher over the last month than last year.

Response from traders this morning has been good- so far. Oil prices have come off their highs and gasoline futures are currently trading down two cents per gallon. What happens today will be important- if oil prices can hold onto decent sized losses, oil may continue to lose more value, effectively popping the "oil balloon".