Energy Business

Small Increase in Crude Inventory Leads to Higher Price

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories increased by 0.3 million barrels last week, bringing the total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 388.9 million barrels, still well above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.

Total gasoline inventories increased by 1.7 million barrels last week and remain in the upper portion of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied averaged just less than 8.4 million barrels a day over the past four weeks — a drop of about 2.4% compared with the same period a year ago.

Distillate inventories fell by about 200,000 barrels last week, and remain in the lower half of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged about 3.8 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, up about 5.5% when compared with the same period last year. Distillate production totaled 3.9 million barrels a day last week, down by about 500,000 barrels a day when compared with the prior week.

The American Petroleum Institute last night reported an inventory increase of 5.1 million barrels in crude supplies last week together with an increase of 2 million barrels in gasoline supplies and a drop of 1.3 million barrels in distillate supplies. Platts estimated a build of 1.4 million barrels in crude inventories. Dow Jones had projected a rise in crude inventories of 1.2 million barrels.

Crude prices were down about 0.4% before the EIA report at around $93.86 a barrel and rose by about $0.20 immediately following the report.

For the past week, crude imports averaged more than 7.7 million barrels a day, a decrease of about 211,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 86.8% of capacity, with daily input of 15.1 million barrels a day, about 106,000 barrels a day more than the previous week. Refineries continue to raise production now that routine maintenance and the switch to summer-grade fuel is reaching an end.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is down about 0.3%, at $33.55 in a 52-week range of $29.02 to $40.29.

The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is down 2.1%, at $57.03, in a 52-week range of $45.13 to $65.86.

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