US Crude Oil Inventories Rise, Gasoline Stocks Drop

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The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. US commercial crude inventories increased by 3.7 million barrels last week, bringing the total US commercial crude inventory to 379.5 million barrels, above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.

A Platts survey provided a consensus estimate for a weekly inventory gain of 2.2 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute had noted an inventory increase of a whopping 7.8 million barrels. Crude prices, which have fallen for five straight days, were already lower before the EIA report and have continued to drop after the news came out.

Total gasoline inventories fell by 2.6 million barrels last week and remain in the middle of the five-year average range. Over the last four weeks, gasoline supplied has declined by -3.2% compared to the same period last year. Total motor gasoline supplied averaged 8.7 million barrels/day for the four weeks.

For the past week, crude imports averaged 9 million barrels/day, up by about 145,000 barrels/day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 86.4% of capacity, with daily input of 14.7 million barrels/day, up by 35,000 barrels/day from the previous week.

According to gasbuddy.com, US gasoline prices average $3.745/gallon today, compared with a pump price of $3.802 a week ago. AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report shows today’s price at $3.75, down from $3.803 a week ago. Pump prices continue to fall and the weekly drops are getting slightly larger. The approaching Memorial Day holiday often sees an uptick in pump prices, so this may be something to watch for in the coming days.

WTI crude is down -1.74% today at $95.32 after closing at $97.01 on the Nymex yesterday.

Paul Ausick

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