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

Crude oil inventories decreased by 5.1 million barrels (MMbbl) to a total of 479.3 MMbbl. At 479.3 MMbbl, inventories are 53.1 MMbbl below last year (10.0%) and are about 3% below the five-year average for this time of year. Inventories in Cushing, OK, the NYMEX delivery point, rose 0.7 million barrels to a total of 45.5 million barrels.

Domestic crude oil production fell 200,000bpd to 11.0 million barrels per day, 400,000 bpd lower than the year ago period. While Alaska oil production fell 8,000 barrels per day to 440,000bpd, production in the Lower 48 fell 200,000 bpd to 10.4 million barrels per day.

Gasoline inventories increased by 1.5 million barrels (MMbbl) to a total of 234.0 MMbbl. At 234.0 MMbbl, inventories are down 23.8 MMbbl, or 9.2% lower than a year ago and are about 3% lower than the five-year average for this time of year.

Here’s how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared:

East Coast (+2.0 MMbbl)
Midwest (-0.2 MMbbl)
Gulf Coast (-0.4 MMbbl)
Rockies (-0.2 MMbbl)
West Coast (+0.2 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 increased by 3.7 million barrels to a total of 132.8 MMbbl. At 132.8 MMbbl, inventories are down 41.5 MMbbl, or 23.8% lower vs. a year ago. Distillate inventories stand about 8% below the five-year average for this time of year.

Gasoline supplied to the market amounted to 9.15 million barrels per day (MMbpd), or 333,000 bpd lower than the previous week. So far in 2021, implied demand (“products supplied”) is 10.0% higher versus 2020, per the EIA.

Refinery utilization increased by 1.7% vs. last week’s numbers to reach 88.7%. Gasoline production decreased to 9.6 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production increased to 4.8 million barrels per day last week.

Utilization rates for the last week were as follows:

East Coast: 87.9% (-2.1%)
Midwest: 91.5% (+3.8%)
Gulf Coast: 89.7% (+1.4%)
Rocky Mountains: 78.4% (+1.6%)
West Coast: 83.8% (+0.7%)
These percentages show how much of a region’s overall capacity was used to refine oil. It’s important to note these percentages, because the lower the utilization percent, the lower 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 oil stocks in the United States are down by 152.1 MMbbl (-10.6%) versus a year ago and stand at 1.278 billion barrels (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve).

The U.S. imported 5.63 MMbpd of crude oil per day last week, down by 641,000 bpd vs. the previous week, while crude oil exports fell 889,000 bpd to 2.54 MMbpd. Total motor gasoline imports last week averaged 933,000 bpd. The U.S. also imported 516,000 bpd of distillate fuels. However, during the same timeframe, the U.S. exported 560,000 bpd of finished gasoline and 978,000 bpd of distillates. In total, U.S. companies exported 7.18 MMbpd of oil and petroleum products.

Before the report was released, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 9 cents to $68.92 per barrel. Just after the report was released, oil was up 33 cents per barrel.