Crude oil inventories fell 2.1 million barrels in the September 14 week to 394.1 million, 16.6 percent below their level a year ago. Product inventories were mixed, with gasoline down 1.7 million barrels to 234.2 million, 2.3 percent below the year ago level, but distillates up 0.8 million barrels to 140.1 million, 0.9 percent higher than last year at this time. The draw in crude oil inventories contrasted sharply with the build of 1.2 million barrels reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute, a private industry group. WTI prices rose about 40 cents to about $70.80 per barrel immediately following the release of the EIA data.
Refineries slowed to operate at 95.4 percent of their operable capacity, down 2.2 percentage points from the prior week. Production decreased, averaging 10.3 million barrels per day for gasoline and 5.5 million barrels per day for distillates.
Crude oil imports rose by 433,000 barrels per day to a daily average of 8.0 million per day during the week. Over the past 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged 7.7 million barrels per day, 6.9 percent above the level in the same period last year.
Domestic crude oil production remained stable at an average of 11.0 million barrels per day over the last 4 weeks, 18.1 percent more than last year at this time.
Overall product demand remained strong and steady, with total products supplied over the last 4 weeks averaging 21.4 million barrels per day, up 4.9 percent from same period last year. Demand for the main products remained softer and mixed, however, with supplied gasoline averaging 9.7 million barrels per day, up 2.0 percent year-on-year, while supplied distillates averaged 4.0 million barrels per day, down 0.8 percent from the same time last year.