Crude oil inventories rose 1.5 million barrels in the February 24 week to 520.2 million, up 6.9 percent from last year at this time. But product inventories declined again though only slightly, with motor gasoline down 0.5 million barrels to 255.9 million, 0.4 percent above the year ago level, and distillates down 0.9 million barrels to 164.2 million, also 0.4 percent higher year-on-year.
Crude oil imports averaged 7.6 million barrels per day, up by 303,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Imports over the last 4 weeks averaged 8.2 million barrels per day, 5.1 percent above the year ago rate.
Refineries picked up their pace, operating at 86.0 percent of their operable capacity, up 1.7 percent from the prior week. Gasoline production rose to an average of 9.5 million barrels per day, while production of distillates increased to 4.8 million barrels per day.
On the demand side, total products supplied over the last 4 weeks averaged 19.8 million per day, up 0.9 percent from the same period last year. Of this amount, supplied motor gasoline averaged 8.7 million barrels per day, down by 6.2 percent from the year ago period, but distillate product supplied, averaging 4.0 million barrels per day, was up a sharp 15.7 percent year-on-year.