Crude Oil Futures Prices Sag Following Inventory Report

Oil refinery
Oil refinery

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories increased by 200,000 barrels last week, bringing the total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 395.5 million barrels, well above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.

Total gasoline inventories decreased by 900,000 barrels last week and remain in the middle of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied averaged more than 8.5 million barrels a day over the past four weeks - a drop of about 2.4% compared with the same period a year ago.

Distillate inventories rose by 1.8 million barrels last week, and remain in the lower half of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged more than 3.6 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, down about 5.1% when compared with the same period of last year. Distillate production totaled 4.5 million barrels a day last week, higher by 200,000 barrels compared with the prior week.

The American Petroleum Institute last night reported an inventory build of 680,000 barrels in crude supplies last week, together with an decrease of 186,000 barrels in gasoline supplies and a rise of 1.1 million barrels in distillate supplies. Platts estimated a build of 1.9 million barrels in crude inventories, a drop of 750,000 barrels in gasoline inventories and a rise of 1 million barrels in distillate inventories.

Crude prices were up nearly 1% before the EIA report at around $96.50 a barrel and fell to $95.88 shortly after the report was released.

For the past week, crude imports averaged more than 7.6 million barrels a day, an decrease of about 560,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 87% of capacity, with daily input of 15.2 million barrels a day, about 470,000 barrels a day more than the previous week.

Refining capacity utilization continues to rise as refiners increase runs now that maintenance work is virtually complete and demand for refined product exports remains firm. The much lower gain in crude inventories is a further indication that refineries are ramping up. Gasoline product supplied (which is EIA's term for U.S. consumption) is down 2.4% year-over-year, another pointer to increased exports of gasoline.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is up 0.5%, at $34.17 in a 52-week range of $29.02 to $27.17.

The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is up 0.1%, at $56.16, in a 52-week range of $45.13 to $65.86.

The United States Brent Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: BNO) is up 0.5%, at $79.33 in a 52-week range of $63.00 to $88.71.

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