Crude Inventories Fall, Prices Rise


The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. US commercial crude inventories fell by 2 million barrels last week, bringing the total US commercial crude inventory to 373.1 million barrels, above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.

Total gasoline inventories rose by 900,000 barrels last week and remain in 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 rise of 0.1% compared with the same period a year ago.

According to American Petroleum Institute estimates, crude supplies were expected to rise by 2.1 million barrels, while gasoline supplies were expected to fall by 173,000 barrels.

Crude prices, which had risen to about $86.69 a barrel before the report was released, have topped $87.00 a barrel following the EIA report and are up about 0.9% on the day so far.

For the past week, crude imports averaged more than 8.8 million barrels a day, an increase of about 476,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 87.2% of capacity, with daily input of 14.8 million barrels a day, about 17,000 barrels a day less than the previous week.

Distillate inventories fell by 100,000 barrels last week and remain below the lower limit of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged more than 3.7 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, up 0.1% when compared with the same period last year. Distillate production totaled nearly 4.5 million barrels a day last week, down by about 100,000 barrels a day from the prior week.

Refinery utilization totaled 87.7% last week. That number will be lower next week as a result of refinery shutdowns and slowdowns due to Hurricane Sandy. The drop should be relatively small, however.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is up about 1.3% at $32.11 in a 52-week range of $29.02 to $42.30.

The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is up about 1.1% at $55.55. The 52-week range is $44.98 to $62.13.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Commodities, Oil & Gas, Research Tagged: featured, UGA, USO