Gains Continue in U.S. Crude Supply

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report Monday morning for the week ending October 11. The agency did not report petroleum status last week due to the federal government shutdown.

U.S. commercial crude inventories increased by 4 million barrels last week, maintaining a total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 374.5 million barrels, and remain above the upper end of the five-year range for this time of the year.

Total gasoline inventories also decreased by 2.6 million barrels last week, but remain near the top of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied (the EIA’s measure of consumption) averaged 8.8 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, flat with the prior week average.

Distillate inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels last week, and remain near the lower limit of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged 3.7 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, down by 3.4% when compared with the same period last year. Distillate production totaled about 4.8 million barrels a day last week, about 200,000 barrels a day more than the prior week.

The American Petroleum Institute last Wednesday reported that crude inventories rose by 5.9 million barrels in the week ending October 11, together with a drop of 2.2 million barrels in gasoline supplies and a decrease of 1.3 million barrels in distillate supplies. For the same period, Platts estimated a rise of 2.25 million barrels in crude inventories, an increase of 400,000 barrels in gasoline inventories and a decrease of 1.3 million barrels in distillate inventories.

Crude prices closed at $101.81 on Monday and were trading lower before the EIA report at around $100.10 a barrel, and they slipped slightly to around $99.80 shortly after the report was released.

For the past week, crude imports averaged about 8 million barrels a day, down about 39,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 86.2% of capacity, with daily input of 14.9 million barrels a day, about 37,000 barrels a day lower than the previous week’s total.

Gasoline prices have mostly stabilized. According to the AAA Fuel Gauge report, a gallon of regular gasoline costs about $3.35 today compared with about $3.34 a week ago. Last month the price was $3.49 a gallon, and one year ago the price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.68.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is down 0.9%, at $36.12 in a 52-week range of $30.79 to $39.54.

The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is down about 0.1%, at $57.12, in a 52-week range of $53.35 to $65.86.

The United States Brent Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: BNO) is down 0.2%, at $43.30 in a 52-week range of $36.88 to $45.05.