US: EIA Petroleum Status Report


Wed Feb 28 09:30:00 CST 2018

Actual Previous
Crude oil inventories (weekly change) 3.0M barrels -1.6M barrels
Gasoline (weekly change) 2.5M barrels 0.3M barrels
Distillates (weekly change) -1.0M barrels -2.4M barrels

Highlights
Crude oil inventories rose 3.0 million barrels in the February 23 week to 423.5 million, 18.6 percent below the level a year ago. Gasoline inventories rose 2.5 million barrels to 251.8 million, 1.6 percent below last year at this time, while distillates fell 1.0 million barrels to 138.0 million, down 16.0 percent year-on-year. The weekly increase in crude oil inventories was significantly larger than the 0.9 million build reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group. WTI prices fell about 70 cents to around $62.50 per barrel immediately following the release of the EIA report.

Refineries slowed operations slightly in the week to operate at 87.8 percent of their operable capacity, down 0.3 percentage points from the prior week. Production of gasoline decreased to 9.4 million barrels per day but distillates production remained unchanged, averaging 4.5 million barrels per day.

Crude oil imports rose in the week, averaging 7.3 million barrels per day, up 261,000 barrels per day from the previous week. The 4-week average, however, fell to 7.5 million barrels per day, 8.1 percent less than in the same period last year.

Demand softened from the strong levels seen earlier in the month, with total products supplied averaging 20.4 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, up 2.7 percent from the same period last year. Of this amount, motor gasoline supplied averaged 9.0 million barrels per day, up 3.8 percent from last year, while distillates supplied averaged 4.0 million barrels per day, up just 0.9 percent year-on-year.


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.