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 6.2 million barrels to a total of 363.1 million barrels. At 363.1 million barrels, inventories are 5.3 million barrels above last year (1.5%) and are above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma fell 0.7 million barrels to 40.4 million barrels this week.

Gasoline inventories decreased 2.5 million barrels to 205.6 million barrels. At 205.6 million barrels, inventories are now 18.1 million barrels, or 8.1% lower than last year (last week that number was 7.5% lower). Regions posting gains in inventories last week were the Midwest (+0.4mb) and Gulf Coast (+0.3mb). Decreases were seen on the East Coast (-1.6mb), Rockies (-0.2mb), and the West Coast (-1.3mb).

Distillate inventories decreased by 1.8 million barrels to a total of 146.5 million barrels. At 146.5 million barrels, inventories are now 3.5% lower than a year ago. Supply of distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is up an average of 7.3% over the last four weeks (last week the number was 6.2% over last year). Distillate inventories are now 5.3 million barrels lower than their year ago level.

Refinery utilization rose to 82.7%, a rise of 0.2% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week to 8.8 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.1 million barrels per day, a decrease over the prior week.

Refineries in the Midwest PADD operated at the highest utilization- some 87.3% of capacity. Refiners in the Gulf Coast PADD came in second at 86.1% while refiners in the West Coast PADD came in third with 78.9%. East Coast refiners took the position of utilizing the lowest percentage of their plants last week, edging out the Rockies. Rockies plants ran at 78.2% of their capacity while East Coast plants ran 62.1% of their available capacity.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline- increased 27,000bpd to 883,000 barrels per day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are down 39.3 million barrels (3.7%) over last year and stand at 1.0336 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).