Crude Oil Supplies Expand for Third Straight Week
U.S. crude oil supplies increased 0.4 million barrels (0.1%) for the week ending Jan. 31, according to an Energy Information Administration report (link opens a PDF) released today.
After expanding 6.4 million barrels the previous week, this latest report marks the third straight week of inventory expansions. This week's increase is due primarily to slowing production -- refinery capacity rates dipped to 86.1%, the lowest since October. Overall inventories have dropped 3.7% in the past 12 months.
Gasoline inventories increased 0.5 million barrels (0.3%) after dipping 0.8 million barrels the week before. Demand for motor gasoline over the last four-week period is down a seasonally adjusted 1.6% over the same period last year. In the last year, supplies have edged up 0.4%.
Over the past week, average retail gasoline pump prices fell $0.003 per gallon to $3.292.
Distillates supplies, which include diesel and heating oil, shrank 2.4 million barrels (2.1%) for the fourth straight week of declines. Distillates demand for the last four weeks is up a seasonally adjusted 12.7% over the same period a year ago. In the past year, distillates inventories have declined 12.2%.
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