Crude oil inventories fell 1.4 million barrels in the August 3 week to 407.4 million, 14.3 percent below their level a year ago. But product inventories rose, with gasoline up 2.9 million barrels to 233.9 million, 1.2 percent above the year ago level, while distillates rose 1.2 million barrels to 125.4 million, down 15.1 percent year-on-year. The crude oil draw was much smaller than the 6.0 million barrel decline reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group, though the API's product inventory builds were somewhat larger, at 3.1 million barrels for gasoline and 1.8 million for distillates. WTI prices fell about 40 cents to around $67.55 per barrel immediately following the release of the EIA report.
Refineries mildly ramped up operations during the week to 96.6 percent of their operable capacity, up 0.5 percentage points from the prior week. Gasoline production nevertheless declined, averaging 9.9 million barrels per day, while the production of distillates did increase slightly, averaging 5.2 million barrels per day.
Crude oil imports rose by 182,000 barrels per day from the prior week, averaging 7.9 million barrels per day. The 4-week average rose to 8.1 million barrels per day, 1.4 percent above the level a year ago.
Domestic crude oil production decreased, averaging 10.9 million barrels per day over the last 4 weeks, 15.9 percent more than last year at this time.
Overall product demand was steady, averaging 21.1 million barrels per day over the last 4 weeks, up from last week's 4-week average but down 0.6 percent from the level a year ago for the period. Demand for the main products was mixed, slightly improved for supplied gasoline which averaged 9.7 million barrels per day, down 0.7 percent from the same period last year, but weaker for supplied distillates which, while rising slightly to an average of 4.0 million barrels per day over the past 4 weeks were now down 8.3 percent from last year at this time.