US: EIA Petroleum Status Report


Thu May 28 10:00:00 CDT 2015

Actual Previous
Crude oil inventories (weekly change) -2.8M barrels -2.7M barrels
Gasoline (weekly change) -3.3M barrels -2.8M barrels
Distillates (weekly change) 1.1M barrels -0.5M barrels

Highlights
Down for a 4th week, oil inventories continue to come down from 80-year highs. Inventories fell 2.8 million barrels in the May 22 week to 479.4 million. Gasoline inventories also fell, down 3.3 million barrels, while distillate inventories rose 1.1 million. Operating at 93.6 percent of capacity, refineries were very busy in the week, raising output of both gasoline and distillates. WTI, near $57, is slightly firmer following the results.

Definition
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) provides weekly information on petroleum inventories in the U.S., whether produced here or abroad. The level of inventories helps determine prices for petroleum products.



Description
Petroleum product prices are determined by supply and demand - just like any other good and service. During periods of strong economic growth, one would expect demand to be robust. If inventories are low, this will lead to increases in crude oil prices - or price increases for a wide variety of petroleum products such as gasoline or heating oil. If inventories are high and rising in a period of strong demand, prices may not need to increase at all, or as much. During a period of sluggish economic activity, demand for crude oil may not be as strong. If inventories are rising, this may push down oil prices.

Crude oil is an important commodity in the global market. Prices fluctuate depending on supply and demand conditions in the world. Since oil is such an important part of the economy, it can also help determine the direction of inflation. In the U.S., consumer prices have moderated whenever oil prices have fallen, but have accelerated when oil prices have risen.