Crude oil inventories rose 5.8 million barrels in the May 18 week to 438.1 million, 15.1 percent below their level a year ago. Product inventories were mixed, with gasoline up 1.9 million barrels to 233.9 million, 3.8 percent below last year at this time, but distillates down 1.0 million barrels to 114.0 million, 22.1 percent lower year-on-year. The sizable crude oil build contrasted with a 1.3 million draw reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group. WTI prices fell about 70 cents to around $71.30 per barrel immediately following the release of the EIA report.
Refineries operated at 91.8 percent of the operable capacity during the week, up 0.7 percentage points from the prior week. Gasoline production increased, averaging 10.0 million barrels per day, but the production of distillates fell to an average of 4.9 million barrels per day.
Crude oil imports rose to an average of 8.2 million barrels per day, up 558,000 barrels per day from the previous week. But the 4-week average of crude oil imports fell to an average of 7.9 million barrels per day, down 3.5 percent from the same period a year ago.
Domestic crude oil production over the last 4 weeks averaged 10.7 million barrels per day, 14.9 percent more than last year at this time.
Overall product demand rose slightly, with total production supplied over the last 4 weeks averaging 20.4 million barrels per day, up 1.5 percent from the same period last year. Demand from the main petroleum products was mixed during the period, slightly stronger for supplied motor gasoline which averaged 9.4 million barrels per day, up 1.0 percent from the same period last year, but a little weaker for supplied distillates, averaging 4.2 million barrels per day and down 1.9 percent year-on-year.