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 2.7 million barrels to a total of 388.6 million barrels. At 388.6 million barrels, inventories are 26.2 million barrels above last year (7.2%) and are above the upper limit of the average range.

Gasoline inventories decreased by 0.6 million barrels to 220.7 million barrels. At 220.7 million barrels, inventories are down 1.2 million barrels, or 0.6% lower than last year. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-1.1mb); Midwest (+0.3mb); Gulf Coast (+0.8mb); Rockies (+0.2mb); 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 increased by 2.3 million barrels to a total of 113.0 million barrels. At 113.0 million barrels, inventories are now 16.9% lower than a year ago. Total distillate inventories stand 22.9 million barrels lower than their year ago level.

Products supplied to end users amounted to 19.0 million barrels per day, or 93,000 barrels per day higher than the previous week. Compared to the same period last year, product supplied is nearly 1.6% higher so far year-to-date.

Refinery utilization increased to 86.3%, up 0.6% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production increased last week averaging 8.9 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production decreased, averaging just under 4.3 million barrels per day.

Utilization rates for the last week were as follows: East Coast: 87.9%, Midwest: 83.5%, Gulf Coast: 89.1%, Rocky Mountain: 96.1%, West Coast: 78.4%. 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 3.5 million barrels (0.3%) over last year and stand at 1.077 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).

The U.S. imported 7.9 million barrels of crude oil per day last week, down by 227,000bpd vs. the previous week. Total motor gasoline imports last week averaged 505,000bpd. The U.S. also imported 223,000bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same time frame, the U.S. exported 548,000bpd of gasoline and 850,000bpd of distillates. In total, U.S. refineries exported 2.9 million barrels per day of oil and products.