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 4.8 million barrels to a total of 369.0 million barrels. At 369.0 million barrels, inventories are 7.5 million barrels above last year (2.1%) and are above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma fell 1.0 million barrels to 38.9 million barrels this week.

Gasoline inventories increased by 2.2 million barrels to 214.5 million barrels. At 214.5 million barrels, inventories are now 4.5 million barrels, or 2.0% lower than last year (last week that number was 3.1% lower). Regions posting gains in inventories last week were the East Coast (+1.4mb), the Midwest (+0.4mb), the Gulf Coast (+1.6mb), and the Rockies (+0.2mb). Decreases were only seen in the West Coast (-1.4mb).

Distillate inventories increased by 0.8 million barrels to a total of 140.9 million barrels. At 140.9 million barrels, inventories are now 9.0% lower than a year ago. Supply of distillate fuel (diesel, industrial fuels) is down an average of 4.9% over the last four weeks (last week the number was 5.0% lower than last year). Distillate inventories are now 13.9 million barrels lower than their year ago level.

Refinery utilization rose to 87.2%, a rise of 1.2% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased slightly last week to 9.4 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.4 million barrels per day, an increase over the prior week.

Refineries in the Rockies PADD operated at the highest utilization- some 92.0% of capacity. Refiners in the Gulf Coast PADD came in second at 90.2% while refiners in the Midwest PADD came in third with 89.1%. 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 71.0% of their capacity while East Coast plants ran 84.1% of their available capacity.

Production of fuel ethanol, a key ingredient in gasoline- increased 6,000bpd to 915,000 barrels per day.

Total oil stocks in the United States are down 27.5 million barrels (2.5%) over last year and stand at 1.0629 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).