Crude Oil Inventories at Record Highs

Railroad Oil Tank Cars
Railroad Oil Tank Cars

If you think that the price of crude oil and the price of oil in general is too high or too low right now, you might want to consider what is happening on the supply side of the equation. A new report on weekly crude oil inventories shows that the supply of crude oil is effectively higher than it has ever been, and Dow Jones put a headline out saying it was the highest since 1931.

Crude oil stocks rose by 3.0 million barrels to 397.552 million barrels. Dow Jones was calling for a drop of about 400,000 barrels. U.S. crude oil imports averaged more than 7.8 million barrels per day last week, which is down by about 313,000 barrels per day from the prior week.

Gasoline inventories fell by 1.514 million to 219.163 million barrels. Dow Jones had called for a drop of only about 200,000 barrels in the past week. Gasoline production decreased last week, averaging just over 9.0 million barrels per day.

Refineries ran at 86.4% of capacity, down from 87.3% a week ago and well under the Dow Jones estimate of 87.7%.

NYMEX WTI Crude was last seen down $0.61 at $92.52 per barrel. The United States Oil (NYSEMKT: USO) exchange traded product actually traded up after the news by 0.2% at $33.17. Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) also is up by 0.2% at $40.56.

Higher inventories being at a record must not be good news for the oil and gas service companies and drillers. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEMKT: OIH) is now down 1% at $44.00 on the day, although it is at the higher end of its 52-week trading range of $32.54 to $45.80.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, Oil & Gas Tagged: OIH, USO, VLO