Crude oil inventories plunged by 12.6 million barrels in the July 6 week to 405.2 million, 18.2 percent below their level a year ago. Product inventories were mixed, with gasoline down 0.7 million barrels to 239.00 million, 1.4 percent higher than last year at this time, while distillates rose 4.1 million barrels to 121.7 million, down 20.8 percent year-on-year. The outsized crude oil draw was nearly twice the size of the already large 6.8 million decline reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group. WTI prices, which were given a boost Tuesday by the API data but fell in subsequent trading, jumped up by nearly a dollar to around $74.00 per barrel immediately following the EIA release before quickly falling back to pre-release levels.
Refineries continued to operate at near full capacity though at 96.7 percent slightly below the prior week's level. Production was mixed, increasing to an average of 10.7 million barrels per day for gasoline but declining for distillates to a daily average of 5.4 million barrels.
Crude oil imports fell sharply from the previous week by 1.624 million barrels per day, averaging 7.4 million barrels per day. But over the last 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged 8.3 million barrels per day, 5.9 percent more than in the same period last year.
Domestic crude oil production in the last 4 weeks averaged 10.9 million barrels per day, 16.8 percent above the level last year at this time.
Overall product demand softened, with total product supplied over the last 4 weeks averaging 20.4 million barrels per day, down 1.4 percent from the same period last year. Softening of demand was more pronounced in the main products, where gasoline supplied averaged 9.6 million barrels per day, down 1.7 percent from the same time last year, while distillates supplied averaged 3.8 million barrels per day, down 6.1 percent compared to a year ago.