Crude oil inventories fell 6.9 million barrels in the January 12 week to 412.7 million, posting the ninth weekly drawdown in a row that widened the year-on-year decline by 1.8 percentage points to 15.0 percent. Product inventories were mixed, with gasoline up 3.6 million barrels to 240.9 million, 2.2 percent below the level a year ago, while distillates fell 3.9 million barrels to 139.2 million, down 17.7 percent year-on-year. Drawdowns in other products widened the decline in total commercial inventories to 13.8 million barrels. After yesterday's report of a smaller 5.1 million barrel draw in crude oil stocks by the American Petroleum Institute, a private industry group, WTI prices rose about 50 cents to around $64.00 per barrel following the release of the EIA report.
Refineries cut back operations to 93.00 percent of their operable capacity, down 2.3 percentage points from the prior week. Gasoline production nevertheless increased, averaging 9.7 million barrels per day, while the production of distillates fell to an average of 5.1 million barrels per day.
Crude oil imports rose by 292,000 barrels per day to a daily average of 8.0 million barrels. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports averaged 7.9 million barrels per day, 3.7 percent less than in the same period last year.
Demand continues to strengthen, with total products supplied over the last four weeks averaging 20.5 million barrels per day, up 6.2 percent from the same period last year. Gasoline supplied averaged 8.9 million barrels per day during the period, up 3.9 percent year-on-year, while distillates supplied averaged 4.1 million barrels per day, 16.0 percent above the level a year ago.