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Oil Gasoline and Diesel Stockpiles Dip Lower


The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly report today on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States. Here are some of the highlights:

Crude oil inventories decreased by 1.4 million barrels (MMbbl) to a total of 455.2 MMbbl At 455.2 MMbbl, inventories are 11.3 MMbbl above last year (1.0%) and are roughly 2% below the five year average for this time of year. Inventories at the major delivery point in Cushing, OK fell 1.1 MMbbl to a total of 46.0 million barrels.

Gasoline inventories decreased by 1.2 million barrels (MMbbl) to a total of 228.0 MMbbl. At 228.0 MMbbl, inventories are down 8.0 MMbbl, or 3.5% lower than a year ago and are about 5% below the five-year average range for this time of year.

Here’s how individual regions and their inventory fared:
-East Coast (-3.3 MMbbl)
-Midwest (-1.5 MMbbl)
-Gulf Coast (-0.7 MMbbl)
-Rockies (-0.2 MMbbl)
-West Coast (-1.9 MMbbl)

It’s important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling inventories) or down (in the case of rising inventories).

Distillate inventories decreased by 0.4 million barrels to a total of 128.1 MMbbl. At 128.1 MMbbl, inventories are down 0.1 MMbbl, or 0.3% lower vs. a year ago. Distillate inventories now stand about 5% below the five-year average range for this time of year.

Gasoline supplied to end users amounted to 9.4 million barrels per day (MMbbl), or 386,000 bpd lower than the previous week. So far in 2019 implied demand (“products supplied”) is 0.2% lower versus 2018, per the EIA.

Refinery utilization rose by 0.2 % vs. last week’s numbers to reach 87.7%. Gasoline production decreased to 9.42 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production decreased to 3.35 million barrels per day last week.

Utilization rates for the last week were as follows:
-East Coast: 81.1% (+1.2%)
-Midwest: 92.4% (+6.9%)
-Gulf Coast: 89.3% (-0.6%)
-Rocky Mountain: 81.3 (-2.5%)
-West Coast: 79.5% (-5.7%)

These percentages show how much of a region’s overall capacity were used to refine oil. It’s important to note these percentages, because the lower the utilization rate percent, the lower the output – which has a direct impact on local gasoline prices. If refiners in your region have low output, you’re more likely to see gas prices rise.

Total stocks in the United States are up by 54.8 MMbbl (4.6%) versus a year ago and stand at 1.236 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).

The U.S. imported 3.59 MMbpd of crude oil per day last week, down by 607,000 bpd vs. the previous week, while crude exports increased 52,000 bpd to 2,401,000 bpd. Total motor gasoline imports last week averaged 125,000 bpd. The U.S. also imported 138,000 bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same time frame, the U.S. exported 599,000 bpd of finished gasoline and 1,660,000 bpd of distillates. In total, U.S. refineries exported 5.3 MMbpd of oil and petroleum products.

Before the report was released, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up $0.08 to $64.13 per barrel. Just after the report was released, oil was down $0.10

Senior Petroleum Analyst, Canada

Dan is a skilled and noted bilingual (French and English) consumer advocate specializing in energy and current affairs. Known as Canada's “Gas Guru,” he founded to better help motorists anticipate the price of gasoline in advance across Canada. He has over three decades of experience in the petroleum industry, as a parliamentarian and an analyst.