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 0.2 million barrels to a total of 395.5 million barrels. At 395.5 million barrels, inventories are 16.0 million barrels above last year (4.2%) and are well above the upper limit of the average range.

Gasoline inventories decreased by 0.9 million barrels to 215.1 million barrels. At 215.1 million barrels, inventories are up 8.0 million barrels, or 3.8% more than last year. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-0.2mb); Midwest (-1.3mb); Gulf Coast (+0.9mb); Rockies (-0.6mb); 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 increased by 1.8 million barrels to a total of 117.6 million barrels. At 117.6 million barrels, inventories are now 2.7% lower than a year ago. Total distillate inventories stand 3.2 million barrels lower than their year ago level.

Gasoline supplied to end users amounted to 8.4 million barrels per day, or 30,000 barrels per day lower than the previous week. Compared to the same period last year, gasoline supplied is nearly 0.3% higher so far year-to-date.

Refinery utilization increased to 87.0%, up 2.6% vs. last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week averaging 8.7 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production increased, averaging 4.5 million barrels per day.

Utilization rates for the last week were as follows: East Coast: 92.6%, Midwest: 84.8%, Gulf Coast: 88.9%, Rocky Mountain: 84.0%, West Coast: 82.6%. 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 28.6 million barrels (2.7%) over last year and stand at 1.01 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).

The U.S. imported 7.6 million barrels of crude oil per day last week, down by 560,000bpd vs. the previous week. Total motor gasoline imports last week averaged 780,000bpd. The U.S. also imported 223,000bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same time frame, the U.S. exported 485,000bpd of gasoline and 832,000bpd of distillates. In total, U.S. refineries exported 2.9 million barrels per day of oil and products.