Crude oil inventories fell 1.5 million barrels in the July 28 week to 481.9 million, 2.0 percent below the level a year ago. Product inventories also declined, with gasoline down 2.5 million barrels to 227.7 million, 4.4 percent below last year's level, and distillates down 0.2 million barrels to 149.4 million, 2.4 percent less than last year at this time. The crude oil drawdown was smaller than the decline of roughly 3.0 million barrels expected by analysts, and WTI crude oil futures fell about 40 cents to around $48.70 per barrel immediately following the release of the EIA report.
Crude oil imports rose by 209,000 million barrels per day in the week to 8.3 million barrels per day, averaging about 8.0 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, 3.8 percent below last year's level at this time.
Refineries operated at 95.4 percent of their operating capacity, up 1.2 percentage points from the prior week, but production decreased for gasoline, averaging 10.3 million barrels per day. Distillate production did increase, averaging 5.2 million barrels per day.
On the demand side, total product supplied over the last four weeks averaged 20.8 million barrels per day, up 1.4 percent from the same period last year. Of that amount, gasoline supplied averaged 9.8 million barrels per day, up 0.1 percent from last year, while supplied distillates averaged 4.2 million barrels, up a sharp 14.5 percent year-on-year.