Crude oil inventories rose 2.2 million barrels in the April 20 week to 429.7 million, 18.7 percent below their level a year ago. Product inventories were mixed, with gasoline up 0.8 million barrels to 236.8 million, 1.8 percent below last year at this time, but distillates down 2.4 million barrels to 122.7 million, down 18.7 percent year-on-year. The report's crude oil inventory increase was twice as large as the 1.1 million barrel build reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group, and while the EIA's decline for distillates was slightly larger, the build for gasoline sharply contrasted with API's 2.7 million barrel draw. WTI prices, which Tuesday approached last week's 4-year highs before declining, fell further by about 50 cents to around $67.15 per barrel immediately following the release of the EIA report.
Refineries slowed to operate at 90.8 percent of their operable capacity during the week, down 1.6 percentage points from the prior week. Production declined, averaging 9.9 million barrels per day for gasoline and 5.0 million barrels per day for distillates.
Imports rose by 539,000 barrels per day in the week to an average of about 8.5 million barrels per day. Average daily imports over the last four weeks remained at 8.2 million barrels, 1.5 percent above the level in the same period last year.
Domestic crude oil production over the last four weeks remained steady at 10.5 million barrels per day, 14.0 percent higher than the production rate a year ago.
Overall product demand fell slightly as total product supplied over the last four weeks averaged 20.4 million barrel per day, but this is still up a respectable 4.3 percent from the same period last year. Demand for the main petroleum products continued to lag and remained softer, however, with motor gasoline supplied averaging 9.4 million barrels per day during the period, up 1.3 percent from the level a year ago, while distillates supplied averaged 4.0 million barrels per day, down 2.5 percent year-on-year.