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 decreased by 2.9 million barrels to a total of 372.3 million barrels. At 372.3 million barrels, inventories are 0.7 million barrels above last year (0.2%) and are above the upper part of the average range for this time of year.

Gasoline inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels to 220.5 million barrels. At 220.5 million barrels, inventories are up 1.2 million barrels, or 0.5% higher than one year ago. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-0.8mb); Midwest (+1.3mb); Gulf Coast (+1.4mb); Rockies (-0.4mb); and West Coast (-0.2mb). 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 116.0 million barrels. At 116.0 million barrels, inventories are now 1.0 million barrels, or 0.9% lower vs. a year ago. Total distillate inventories stand 1.0 million barrels lower than their year ago level.

Gasoline supplied to end users amounted to 9.0 million barrels per day, or 668,000 barrels per day higher than the previous week. So far in 2013, gasoline supplied is 1.3% higher versus 2012.

Refinery utilization was down 1.1% to 91.5% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased last week averaging 9.3 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 5.0 million barrels per day.

Utilization rates for the last week were as follows: East Coast: 85.8%, Midwest: 94.6%, Gulf Coast: 93.0%, Rocky Mountain: 91.2%, West Coast: 85.8%. 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 by by 23.3 million barrels (-2.1%) over last year and stand at 1.07 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).

The U.S. imported 7.6 million barrels of crude oil per day last week, up by 870,000bpd vs. the previous week. Total motor gasoline imports last week averaged 671,000bpd. The U.S. also imported 85,000bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same time frame, the U.S. exported 363,000bpd of gasoline and 1.4mbpd of distillates. In total, U.S. refineries exported 3.4 million barrels per day of oil and products.