Crude Oil Futures Rise on Falling Inventories

153715598The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories dropped by 10.3 million barrels last week, maintaining a total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 383.8 million barrels, still above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.

Total gasoline inventories decreased by 1.7 million barrels last week and remain well above the upper limit of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied (the EIA's measure of consumption) averaged more than 8.9 million barrels a day over the past four weeks — equal to the level in the same period a year ago.

Distillate inventories fell by 2.4 million barrels last week, and are now near the lower limit of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged 4.1 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, up about 10.6% when compared with the same period of last year. Distillate production totaled 4.8 million barrels a day last week, down about 100,000 barrels a day compared with the prior week.

The American Petroleum Institute last night reported that crude inventories fell by 9 million barrels last week, together with a drop of 200,000 barrels in gasoline supplies and a decline of 2.3 million barrels in distillate supplies. Platts estimated a drop of 3 million barrels in crude inventories, a rise of 1 million barrels in gasoline inventories and a rise of 1.3 million barrels in distillate inventories.

Crude prices were up about 1.9% before the EIA report at around $101.45 a barrel, and they climbed further to around $101.65 shortly after the report was released.

For the past week, crude imports averaged 7.4 million barrels a day, down about 891,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 92.2% of capacity, with daily input of 16.1 million barrels a day, about 400,000 barrels a day more than the previous week.

Refining throughput rose again this week as a major Midwest refinery came back online following a major upgrade. Imports fell this week, but inputs rose, indicating more North American crude is getting to the refineries. The spread between West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent is now less than $5 a barrel.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is up 2%, at $35.92 in a 52-week range of $30.79 to $37.17.

The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is up 1.9%, at $56.65, in a 52-week range of $49.92 to $65.86.

The United States Brent Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: BNO) is up 1.7%, at $80.35 in a 52-week range of $69.23 to $88.71.

Filed under: Commodities & Metals Tagged: BNO, UGA, USO
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