The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report on the condition of petroleum inventories in the United States today.
Here are some highlights:
Crude oil inventories increased by 4.2 million barrels to a total of 344.9 million barrels. At 344.9 million barrels, inventories are 1.5 million barrels below last year (-0.7%) and are in the upper limit of the average range.
Gasoline inventories decreased by 1.6 million barrels to 229.9 million barrels. At 229.9 million barrels, inventories are 4.8 million barrels, or 2.0% lower than last year. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-1.5mb); Midwest (-0.6mb); Gulf Coast (+0.8mb); Rockies (-0.1mb); and West Coast (-0.1mb). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling inventories), or down (in the case of rising inventories).
DISTILLATE (diesel, heating oil) INVENTORIES:
Distillate inventories decreased by 2.1 million barrels to a total of 141.4 million barrels. At 141.4 million barrels, inventories are now 11.1% lower than a year ago. Total distillate inventories stand 17.7 million barrels lower than their year ago level.
Refinery utilization slipped to 83.6%, a decrease of 1.9% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week averaging 8.9 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production decreased, averaging just under 4.3 million barrels per day.
Utilization rates for the last week were as follows: East Coast: 58.3%, Midwest: 94.2%, Gulf Coast: 85.6%, Rocky Mountain: 90.7%, West Coast: 77.4%. These percentages show how much of a region's overall capacity were used to refine oil. It is important to note these percentages, because the lower the utilization percent, the lower output, which has a direct impact on local gasoline prices. If refiners in your region have low output, your more likely to see prices rise.
Total oil stocks in the United States are up (+0.5%) over last week, and (+0.8%) versus last year and stand at 1.0595 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).
The U.S. imported 599,000 barrels per day of gasoline and 217,000bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same time frame, the U.S. exported 616,000bpd of gasoline and 1.124 million bpd (million barrels per day) of distillates. In total, U.S. refineries exported 3.1 million barrels per DAY of oil and products! (These are four week rolling averages.)