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 1.7 million barrels to a total of 350.6 million barrels. At 350.6 million barrels, inventories are 6.6 million barrels above last year (1.9%) and are above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma fell 0.3 million barrels to 40.0 million barrels this week.

Gasoline inventories decreased 4.2 million barrels to 225.0 million barrels, likely as they drain the system of winter spec (high RVP) gasoline. At 225.0 million barrels, inventories are now 2.2 million barrels, or 1.0% lower than last year (last week that number was 0.1% higher). Only the West Coast reported an increase in gasoline inventories, rising (0.3mb). Decreases were seen on the East Coast (-0.6mb), Midwest (-1.4mb), and Gulf Coast (-2.5mb). The Rocky Mountain region reported no change.

Distillate inventories decreased by 2.6 million barrels to a total of 152.6 million barrels. At 152.6 million barrels, inventories are now 3.0% higher than a year ago. Supply of distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 3.8% over the last four weeks (last week the number was 4.1% over last year). Distillate inventories are now 4.5 million barrels above their year ago level.

Refinery utilization rose to 83.4%, a rise of 1.4% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week to 8.7 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.1 million barrels per day, a decrease over the prior week.

Refineries in the Rockies operated at the highest utilization- some 87.3% of capacity. Refiners in the Midwest came in second at 85.5% while refiners on the Gulf Coast came in third with 83.9%. East Coast refiners took the position of utilizing the lowest percentage of their plants last week, edging out the West Coast. West Coast plants ran at 81.7% of their capacity while East Coast plants ran 76.7% of their available capacity.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline- increased 12,000bpd to 895,000 barrels per day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are up 0.8 million barrels (0.1%) over last year and stand at 1.0397 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).