EIA: US crude oil inventories rise 4.9 million bbl

US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, rose 4.9 million bbl during the week ended Oct. 7 compared with the previous week’s total, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.

At 474 million bbl, crude inventories remain at historically high levels for this time of year. EIA reported inventories declined in each of the previous 5 weeks, resulting in the fastest drop in 2 years.

Released a day later than usual because of the federal Columbus Day holiday on Oct. 10, today’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report inventory data are the first to exclude crude lease stocks, which is oil stored in tanks at sites across the US where producers are drilling on leased land.

Lease stocks are not yet available for commercial use, and in many cases, operators do not count them as production until the oil is transferred off the lease, EIA explains. Currently, US crude lease stocks account for about 31 million bbl.

The revised methodology will be used going forward by EIA on all of its publications that include commercial crude inventory data.

Analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal ahead of this week’s EIA report anticipated a US crude-stockpile rise of 900,000 b/d during the week ended Oct. 7. Separate data from the American Petroleum Institute estimated a 2.7 million-bbl increase.

Gasoline inventories fall

Total motor gasoline inventories decreased 1.9 million bbl last week, but are above the upper limit of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and blending components inventories fell.

Distillate fuel inventories declined 3.7 million bbl, but are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane-propylene inventories fell 100,000 bbl, but are above the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories dropped 5.1 million bbl.

US crude refinery inputs during the week ending Oct. 7 averaged 15.6 million b/d, down 480,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 85.5% of their operable capacity.

Both gasoline production and distillate fuel production dropped to 9.9 million b/d and 4.5 million b/d, respectively.

US crude imports averaged 7.9 million b/d, up 151,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Over the last 4 weeks, crude imports averaged 7.9 million b/d, an 8.9% increase from the same 4-week period last year.

Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, averaged 762,000 b/d. Distillate fuel imports averaged 95,000 b/d last week.

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