EIA reports 2.5 million-bbl decline in US crude stockpiles

US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, fell 2.5 million bbl during the week ended Aug. 12 compared with the previous week’s total, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Petroleum Status Report.

At 521.1 million bbl, US crude inventories remain at historically high levels for this time of year. For the week ended Aug. 5, EIA reported a 1.1 million-bbl rise (OGJ Online, Aug. 11, 2016).

A survey of analysts by The Wall Street Journal estimated a 500,000-bbl increase in crude stockpiles and a 1.7 million-bbl drop in gasoline inventories during the week ended Aug. 12.

The American Petroleum Institute, meanwhile, projected a decline of 1 million bbl in crude inventories and an increase of 2.2 million bbl in gasoline stockpiles.

EIA reports that total motor gasoline inventories decreased 2.7 million bbl last week, but are well above the upper limit of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories rose while blending components inventories fell.

Distillate fuel inventories increased 1.9 million bbl, and are near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane-propylene inventories rose 1.8 million bbl, and are at the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories gained 1.3 million bbl.

US crude refinery inputs during the week ending Aug. 12 averaged 16.9 million b/d, up 268,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 93.5% of their operable capacity.

Both gasoline and distillate fuel production increased to 10.3 million b/d and 4.9 million b/d, respectively.

US crude imports averaged 8.2 million b/d, down 211,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Over the last 4 weeks, crude imports averaged 8.4 million b/d, up 11.3% from the same 4-week period last year.

Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, averaged 610,000 b/d last week. Distillate fuel imports averaged 92,000 b/d.

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