Crude Oil Supplies Fall, Gasoline Demand Remains Weak

U.S. crude oil supplies fell 300,000 barrels (0.08%) for the week ending May 17, according to an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report (link opens in PDF) released today.

After dropping 600,000 barrels the previous week, weaker domestic production proved enough to offset a 507,000 barrel per day (bpd) increase in imports.

While inventories continued to drop for the second straight week, supplies remained 1.1% above the same time last year, and are "well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year," according to the EIA.


While oil inventories headed down, total motor gasoline supplies increased by 3 million barrels last week and are "near the upper limit of the average range." Gasoline demand's four-week moving average remains weak, 3.3% below the same period last year.

Despite weaker demand, pump prices headed higher to a national average of $3.673 per gallon on May 20. That's $0.07 per gallon more than the previous week, but $0.042 less than May 20, 2012.


In contrast to gasoline, distillates declined 1.1 million barrels last week. Demand remains fairly strong, with its four-week moving average up a seasonally adjusted 2.5%. According to the EIA, supplies remain "in the lower half of the average range for this time of year."



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