The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States today.

Here are some highlights:

Crude oil inventories increased by 0.3 million barrels to a total of 394.1 million barrels. At 394.1 million barrels, inventories are 6.8 million barrels above last year (1.8%) and are well above the upper limit of the average range.

Gasoline inventories increased by 0.2 million barrels to 221.7 million barrels. At 221.7 million barrels, inventories are up 19.0 million barrels, or 9.4% more than last year. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-1.5mb); Midwest (+0.5mb); Gulf Coast (-0.1mb); Rockies (+0.3mb); and West Coast (+0.8mb). 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 0.5 million barrels to a total of 121.6 million barrels. At 121.6 million barrels, inventories are now 0.4% higher than a year ago. Total distillate inventories stand 0.5 million barrels higher than their year ago level.

Gasoline supplied to end users amounted to 8.8 million barrels per day, or 193,000 barrels per day higher than the previous week. Compared to the same period last year, gasoline supplied is down 0.1% versus last year.

Refinery utilization increased to 89.3%, up 1.8% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week averaging 9.1 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production decreased, averaging 4.7 million barrels per day.

Utilization rates for the last week were as follows: East Coast: 92.3%, Midwest: 83.9%, Gulf Coast: 91.9%, Rocky Mountain: 87.6%, West Coast: 87.1%. 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 by 35.2 million barrels (3.2%) over last year and stand at 1.13 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).

The U.S. imported 8.4 million barrels of crude oil per day last week, up by 586,000bpd vs. the previous week. Total motor gasoline imports last week averaged 692,000bpd. The U.S. also imported 52,000bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same time frame, the U.S. exported 308,000bpd of gasoline and 819,000bpd of distillates. In total, U.S. refineries exported 2.7 million barrels per day of oil and products.