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 1.8 million barrels to a total of 339.5 million barrels. At 339.5 million barrels, inventories are 28.7 million barrels below last year (-7.8%) and are in the upper limit of the average range.

Gasoline inventories increased by 1.4 million barrels to 206.3 million barrels. At 206.3 million barrels, inventories are now 6.0 million barrels, or 2.8% lower than last year (last week that number was 4.7% lower). Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-0.1mb), Midwest (-0.5mb), Gulf Coast (+2.2mb), Rockies (+0.1mb), and West Coast (-0.3mb). 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 3.6 million barrels to a total of 141.9 million barrels. At 141.9 million barrels, inventories are now 13.9% lower than a year ago. Distillate inventories are 23.0 million barrels lower than their year ago level.

Refinery utilization hit 85.3%, a rise of 0.5% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased last week to 9.1 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production averaged 4.7 million barrels per day, an increase over the prior week.

Utilization rates for the last week were as follows: East Coast: 72.4%, Midwest: 93.0%, Gulf Coast: 87.6%, Rocky Mountain: 85.5%, West Coast: 76.2%. 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 down 62.6 million barrels (-5.6%) over last year and stand at 1.0647 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).

The U.S. imported 675,000 barrels per day of gasoline and 147,000bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same time frame, the U.S. exported 536,000bpd of gasoline and 912,000bpd of distillates. In total, U.S. refineries exported nearly 2.8 million barrels per DAY of oil and products! (These numbers are last weeks numbers. New numbers become available Thursdays)

COMMENTS: A relatively good report. Crude inventories rose, gasoline inventories rose, but distillate inventories fell. Not surprising about distillates given that their primary demand season is nearly here. Refineries continue to have healthy utilization by seasonal standards, and total oil stocks made a decent bounce compared to last week's overall numbers.