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 3.9 million barrels to a total of 334.7 million barrels. At 334.7 million barrels, inventories are 24.9 million barrels below last year (-6.9%) and are in the upper limit of the average range.
Gasoline inventories increased by 0.2 million barrels to 209.8 million barrels. At 209.8 million barrels, inventories are 0.3 million barrels, or 0.1% lower than last year. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (+0.4mb); Midwest (-0.2mb); Gulf Coast (-0.7mb); Rockies (+0.2mb); and West Coast (+0.7mb). 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 increased by 5.5 million barrels to a total of 138.5 million barrels. At 138.5 million barrels, inventories are now 12.4% lower than a year ago. Total distillate inventories stand 19.6 million barrels lower than their year ago level.
Refinery utilization fell to 84.6%, a drop of 0.9% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week averaging 9.2 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production increased, averaging 4.8 million barrels per day.
Utilization rates for the last week were as follows: East Coast: 66.6%, Midwest: 93.9%, Gulf Coast: 86.7%, Rocky Mountain: 93.9%, West Coast: 75.2%. 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 61.6 million barrels (-5.6%) over last year and stand at 1.0445 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).
The U.S. imported 956,000 barrels per day of gasoline and 135,000bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same time frame, the U.S. exported 529,000bpd of gasoline and 948,000bpd of distillates. In total, U.S. refineries exported nearly 2.9 million barrels per DAY of oil and products! (These numbers are last weeks numbers. New numbers become available Thursdays)
Overall, this report may represent somewhat of a bore for energy analysts and traders. We didn't see any huge standouts, except for large distillate gains, and things continue to chug along. I expect that this report will have little involvement in where energy prices go over the next week, as the market seems much more focused on the 10.7 billion European bailout. Expect prices to rise from renewed optimism on that matter.