EIA: US crude stocks jump 9.4 million bbl

US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, jumped 9.4 million bbl during the week ended Mar. 18 compared with the previous week’s total, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report.

At 532.5 million bbl, inventories remain at historically high levels for this time of year. EIA last week reported that inventories during the week ended Mar. 11 increased 1.3 million bbl (OGJ Online, Mar. 16, 2016).

Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal ahead of the EIA inventory report’s release had expected crude supplies to rise 2.9 million bbl on average during the week ended Mar. 18.

The American Petroleum Institute, meanwhile, estimated crude stocks to have grown by about 8.8 million bbl.

Gasoline stocks still falling

Total motor gasoline inventories decreased 4.6 million bbl last week, but are well above the upper limit of the average range, the EIA report indicates. Both finished gasoline inventories and blending components inventories fell.

Distillate fuel inventories increased 900,000 bbl, and are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Propane-propylene inventories fell 300,000 bbl, but are well above the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased 6.9 million bbl.

US refinery crude inputs during the week ended Mar. 18 averaged 15.8 million b/d, down 176,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 88.4% of their operable capacity.

Gasoline production dropped to average 9.7 million b/d and distillate fuel production declined to average 4.7 million b/d.

US crude imports last week averaged 8.4 million b/d, up 691,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Over the past 4 weeks, crude imports averaged 8.1 million b/d, an increase of 11.6% from the same 4-week period last year.

Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, averaged 415,000 b/d. Distillate fuel imports averaged 93,000 b/d.

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