EIA: US crude inventories drop for sixth straight week

US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, dropped 1.8 million bbl during the week ended May 12 compared with the previous week’s total, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Petroleum Status Report.

It marks the sixth consecutive week in which crude stockpiles have fallen (OGJ Online, May 11, 2017). At 520.8 million bbl, US crude inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year.

A survey of 13 analysts by the Wall Street Journal expected EIA data would indicate a 2.2 million-bbl decline.

Separate data from the American Petroleum Institute showed an 882,000-bbl increase for the week ended May 12.

According to EIA’s report, total motor gasoline inventories dropped 400,000 bbl last week but are above the upper limit of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories increased while blending components inventories decreased.

Distillate fuel inventories lost 1.9 million bbl but are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. Propane-propylene inventories increased 600,000 bbl but are in the lower half of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories rose 4.3 million bbl.

US crude refinery inputs during the week averaged 17.1 million b/d, up 363,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 93.4% of their operable capacity.

Gasoline production decreased to 10 million b/d, while distillate fuel production increased to 5 million b/d.

US crude imports averaged 8.6 million b/d, up 970,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Over the last 4 weeks, crude imports averaged 8.3 million b/d, up 9.3% from the same 4-week period last year.

Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, averaged 696,000 b/d. Distillate fuel imports averaged 161,000 b/d last week.

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