The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. US commercial crude inventories increased by 2.2 million barrels last week, bringing the total US commercial crude inventory to 384.7 million barrels, above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.
The American Petroleum Institute had noted an inventory increase of a 2.1 million barrels. Crude prices, which have fallen sharply since the first of the month, were already lower before the EIA report and have continued to drop after the news came out. Crude oil prices have fallen by 20% from their peak since the beginning of the year on a combination of the weak global economy and increased production.
Total gasoline inventories fell by 800,000 barrels last week and are now below the lower limit of the five-year average range. Over the last four weeks, gasoline supplied has declined by -2.6% compared to the same period last year. Total motor gasoline supplied averaged 8.9 million barrels/day for the four weeks.
For the past week, crude imports averaged 9.1 million barrels/day, up by about 473,000 barrels/day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 89.1% of capacity, with daily input of nearly 15.2 million barrels/day, up by 182,000 barrels/day from the previous week.
According to gasbuddy.com, US gasoline prices average $3.64/gallon today, compared with a pump price of $3.681 a week ago. AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report shows today’s price at $3.62, down from $3.676 a week ago. Pump prices continue to fall, but the weekly drops are levelling off at about a nickel.
WTI crude is down -1.4% today at $86.59 after closing below $88/barrel last night for the first time since October.