Crude Oil Inventory Rise Almost Double Expectations


The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories increased by 2.9 million barrels last week, bringing the total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 369.2 million barrels, above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.

Total gasoline inventories rose by 1.7 million barrels last week and moved into the lower half of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied averaged nearly 8.7 million barrels a day over the past four weeks -- a drop of 2.3% compared with the same period a year ago.

According to analysts surveyed by Platts, crude supplies were expected to rise by 1.5 million barrels, while gasoline supplies were expected to fall by 400,000 barrels and distillate supplies were expected to fall by 1.5 million barrels.

Crude prices, which had fallen to near $92.60 a barrel before the report was released, have fallen slightly to around $92.25 a barrel following the EIA report and are up about 0.2% on the day so far.

For the past week, crude imports averaged more than 8.3 million barrels a day, an increase of about 126,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 87.4% of capacity, with daily input of 14.8 million barrels a day, about 70,000 barrels a day more than the previous week.

Distillate inventories fell by 2.2 million barrels last week and are below the lower limit of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged 3.9 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, down 4.2% when compared with the same period last year. Distillate production totaled nearly 4.5 million barrels a day last week, up by about 200,000 barrels a day from the prior week.

Refinery utilization continued to recover last week, as maintenance is completed and a refinery in California has come back online.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is down about 0.3% at $34.05 in a 52-week range of $29.02 to $42.30.

The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is down about 1.8% at $57.98. The 52-week range is $44.98 to $62.13.

Paul Ausick