Crude Oil Futures Rise on Sharp Inventory Decline


The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories dropped by 6.9 million barrels last week, maintaining a total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 367 million barrels, now in the upper half of the five-year range for this time of the year.

Total gasoline inventories increased by 3.1 million barrels last week and are now well above the upper limit of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied (the EIA's measure of consumption) averaged about 9.1 million barrels a day over the past four weeks — up by 2.3% from the same period a year ago.

Distillate inventories rose by 3.9 million barrels last week, and are now in the lower half of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged 4 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, up about 12% when compared with the same period last year. Distillate production totaled 5.1 million barrels a day last week, up about 100,000 barrels a day compared with the prior week.

The American Petroleum Institute last night reported that crude inventories fell by 2.6 million barrels last week, together with a rise of 2.6 million barrels in gasoline supplies and a rise of 3.8 million barrels in distillate supplies. Platts estimated a drop of 2.5 million barrels in crude inventories, no change in gasoline inventories and a rise of 1.8 million barrels in distillate inventories.

Crude prices were down about flat before the EIA report at just below $106 a barrel and climbed a bit to around $106.10 shortly after the report was released.

For the past week, crude imports averaged about 7.7 million barrels a day, up about 180,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 92.8% of capacity, with daily input of 16.2 million barrels a day, about 100,000 barrels a day more than the previous week.

This marks the third straight week of a significant drop in crude supplies. But inventories remain quite high and gasoline supply is more than plentiful. According to the AAA Fuel Gauge report, a gallon of regular gasoline costs about $3.66 today compared with about $3.50 a week ago. Last month the price was $3.61 a gallon and one year ago the price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.41.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is up 0.6%, at $37.66 in a 52-week range of $30.79 to $37.80.

The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is down 0.5%, at $62.30, in a 52-week range of $50.90 to $65.86.

The United States Brent Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: BNO) is up fractionally, at $82.68 in a 52-week range of $72.68 to $88.71.

Filed under: Energy (Economy) Tagged: BNO, UGA, USO

Originally published