US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, gained 2.3 million bbl during the week ended Dec. 16 compared with the previous week’s total, the US Energy Information Administration said in its Petroleum Status Report.
At 485.4 million bbl, US crude inventories are at the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. EIA reported a decline of 2.6 million bbl for the previous week (OGJ Online, Dec. 14, 2016).
A survey of analysts and traders by The Wall Street Journal predicted a 2.3 million-bbl draw for the week ended Dec. 16.
Meanwhile, a separate estimate from the American Petroleum Institute indicated a 4.15-million drop during the week.
Gasoline inventories back down
Total motor gasoline inventories fell 1.3 million bbl, but are well above the upper limit of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories increased while blending components inventories decreased.
Distillate fuel inventories dropped 2.4 million bbl, but are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane-propylene inventories fell 3.1 million bbl, but are in the upper half of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased 11.9 million bbl.
US crude refinery inputs during the week ended Dec. 16 averaged 16.7 million b/d, up 184,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 91.5% of their operable capacity.
Both gasoline and distillate fuel production increased to 10.2 million b/d and 5.1 million b/d, respectively.
US crude imports averaged 8.5 million b/d, up 1.1 million b/d from the previous week’s average. Over the last 4 weeks, crude imports averaged 7.9 million b/d, 0.9% above the same 4-week period last year.
Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, averaged 447,000 b/d. Distillate fuel imports averaged 211,000 b/d last week.