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 2.6 million barrels to a total of 371.7 million barrels. At 371.7 million barrels, inventories are 32.3 million barrels above last year (3.1%) and are above the upper limit of the average range.

Gasoline inventories increased by 1.7 million barrels to 234.0 million barrels. At 234 million barrels, inventories are up 2.3 million barrels, or 1% higher than last year. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (+2.9mb); Midwest (-0.2mb); Gulf Coast (-1.6mb); Rockies (no change); 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 1 million barrels to a total of 129.6 million barrels. At 129.6 million barrels, inventories are now 11.6% lower than a year ago. Total distillate inventories stand 17 million barrels lower than their year ago level.

Products supplied to end users amounted to 18 million barrels per day, or 629,000 barrels per day less than the previous week. Compared to the same period last year, product supplied was nearly 434,000 barrels higher.

Refinery utilization decreased to 84.2%, down 0.8% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week averaging 8.8 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production increased, averaging just under 4.5 million barrels per day.

Utilization rates for the last week were as follows: East Coast: 82.1%, Midwest: 88.5%, Gulf Coast: 85.3%, Rocky Mountain: 91.0%, West Coast: 75.3%. 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 0.1 million barrels over last year and stand at 1.103 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).

The U.S. imported 7.5 million barrels of crude oil per day last week, down by up by 0.5 mb vs. the previous week. Total motor gasoline imports last week averaged 693,000bpd. The U.S. also imported 86,000bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same time frame, the U.S. exported 484,000bpd of gasoline and 1.08mbpd of distillates. In total, U.S. refineries exported 3.1 million barrels per day of oil and products.