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 2 million barrels to a total of 363.1 million barrels. At 363.1 million barrels, inventories are 12.9 million barrels above last year (3.7%) and remain above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma decreased some 800,000 barrels to 36.0 million barrels this week- the same drop we saw last week. Supplies at Cushing have fallen for two straight weeks.

Gasoline inventories increased 500,000 barrels to 218.1 million barrels. At 218.1 million barrels, inventories are now 3.3% higher than last year (last week that number was 4.2% higher). Decreases in gasoline inventories were seen on the Gulf Coast (-0.6mb) and the West Coast (-0.5mb). The Midwest posted a gain (0.5mb) last week, along with the East Coast (0.5mb)

Distillate inventories increased by 2.5 million barrels to a total of 159.4 million barrels. At 159.4 million barrels, inventories are 2.8% higher than a year ago. Demand for distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 10.9% over the last four weeks. Distillate inventories are now 4.4 million barrels above their year ago level.

Refinery utilization increased slightly to 88.4%, a fall of 1.0% over last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased last week to 9.4 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.4 million barrels per day, a increase over the prior week. Refineries in the Rocky Mountain area operated at the highest utilization- some 92.8% of capacity. Refiners in the Midwest came in second at 92.2%. Refiners on the West Coast again ran the lowest percent of available capacity at just 82.3%.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline in much of the U.S. was 832,000 barrels per day an decrease of 14,000bbls/day. This statistic continues to be fairly new.

Total oil stocks in the United States are down 7.9 million barrels (0.7%) over last year and stand at 1.1091 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).