EIA: US crude inventories exited 2016 with 7.1 million-bbl drop

US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, declined 7.1 million bbl during the week ended Dec. 30, 2016, compared with the previous week’s total, the US Energy Information Administration reported.

At 479 million bbl, US crude inventories are near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, according to the Weekly Petroleum Status Report. EIA last week said that stockpiles rose 600,000 bbl for the week ended Dec. 23 (OGJ Online, Dec. 29, 2016).

A survey of analysts and traders by The Wall Street Journal projected a 2 million-bbl drop during the week ended Dec. 30.

Separate data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a 7.4 million-bbl decline for the week.

Gasoline stockpiles spike

Total motor gasoline inventories jumped 8.3 million bbl, and are near the upper limit of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and blending components inventories increased last week.

Distillate fuel inventories gained 10.1 million bbl, and are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane-propylene inventories fell 2.7 million bbl, but are in the upper half of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased 6.1 million bbl.

US crude refinery inputs during the week ended Dec. 30 averaged 16.7 million b/d, up 132,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 92% of their operable capacity.

Gasoline production decreased to 9.5 million b/d, and distillate fuel production increased to 5.3 million b/d.

US crude oil imports averaged 7.2 million b/d, down 984,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Over the last 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged 7.8 million b/d, up 0.5% from the same 4-week period last year.

Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, averaged 722,000 b/d. Distillate fuel imports averaged 99,000 b/d last week.

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