Crude oil inventories rose 5.8 million barrels in the July 13 week to 411.1 million, 16.2 percent below their level a year ago. Product inventories declined, however, with gasoline down 3.2 million barrels to 235.8 million, 2.0 percent higher than last year at this time, while distillates fell 0.4 million barrels to 121.3 million, down 19.9 percent year-on-year. The substantial crude oil build was much larger than the 0.6 million increase reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group, but this was partly offset by the EIA's reported product declines, which contrasted with the API's 0.4 million build for gasoline and a 1.7 million increase for distillates. WTI prices oscillated up and down in a 60-cent range immediately following the release of the EIA report but quickly stabilized close to the pre-release level around $67.50 per barrel.
Refineries slowed operations during the week to 94.3 percent of their operable capacity, down 2.4 percentage points from the prior week. Production decreased to 10.3 millions barrels per day for gasoline and 5.2 million barrels per day for distillates.
Crude oil imports rose sharply by 1.635 million barrels per day in the week to an average of 9.1 million barrels per day. Over the last 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged 8.5 million barrels per day, 8.1 percent higher than in the same period last year.
Domestic crude oil production over the last 4 weeks averaged 10.9 million barrels per day, 16.8 percent above the level last year at this time.
Overall product demand firmed, with total product supplied over the last 4 weeks averaging 20.7 million barrels per day, down 0.3 percent from the same period last year. Demand also firmed in the main products, where gasoline supplied averaged 9.6 million barrels per day, down 0.1 percent from the same time last year, while distillates supplied averaged 3.9 million barrels per day, down 5.2 percent compared to a year ago.