Crude Oil Supply Jumps Sharply


The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories increased by 5.9 million barrels last week, bringing the total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 369.1 million barrels, well above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.

Total gasoline inventories dropped by a surprising 1 million barrels last week, but remain well above the upper limit of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied averaged about 8.3 million barrels a day over the past four weeks - a rise of about 3% compared with the same period a year ago.

Distillate inventories decreased by 2.3 million barrels last week, and remain in the lower half of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged 3.4 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, down 6.3% when compared with the same period last year. Distillate production totaled 4.3 million barrels a day last week, down slightly compared with the prior week.

The American Petroleum Institute reported an inventory increase of 4.2 million barrels in crude supplies last week. Platts estimated a build of 2.5 million barrels in crude inventories for last week, with a build of 1 million barrels in gasoline supplies.

Crude prices were about 0.9% higher before the EIA report at $97.67 a barrel and fell to around $97.39 following the report. Crude prices are rising today as the dollar weakens following the preliminary report on U.S. fourth-quarter GDP.

For the past week, crude imports averaged over 8.1 million barrels a day, an increase of about 338,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 85% of capacity, with daily input of 14.5 million barrels a day, about 275,000 barrels a day more than the previous week.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is up fractionally at $35.30 in a 52-week range of $29.02 to $42.30.

The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is up 1.6% at $63.38, after setting a new 52-week high of $63.58. The prior 52-week range was $45.13 to $62.42.

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