Crude oil inventories fell 6.1 million barrels in the July 20 week to 404.9 million, 16.2 percent below their level a year ago. Product inventories also declined, with gasoline down 2.3 million barrels to 233.5 million, 1.4 percent above the year ago level, while distillates fell marginally by 0.1 million barrels to 121.2 million, down 19.0 percent year-on-year. The substantial crude oil decline was nearly twice the size of the 3.16 million barrels draw reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group, though the API report's product draws were larger, at 4.87 million barrels for gasoline and 1.32 million barrels for distillates. WTI crude oil prices rose about 70 cents to around $69.30 per barrel immediately following the release of the EIA report.
Refineries slowed operations during the week to 93.8 percent of their operable capacity, down 0.5 percentage points from the prior week. Gasoline production decreased slightly, averaging 10.3 million barrels per day, as did the production of distillates, averaging 5.2 million barrels per day.
Crude oil imports fell sharply following the prior week's large increase, posting an average of 7.8 million barrels per day, down 1.296 million barrels per day from the prior week. But over the last 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged 8.3 million barrels per day, 6.1 percent more than in the same period last year.
Domestic crude oil production increased, with the 4-week average rising to 11.0 million barrels per day, 16.6 percent above the amount produced last year at this time.
Overall product demand also increased, averaging 21.0 million barrels per day over the last 4 weeks, though the year-on-year decline widened to 0.6 percent. Demand for the main products rose while remaining weaker compared to last year, with gasoline supplied averaging 9.7 million barrels per day, down 0.5 percent from the same time last year, while distillates supplied averaged 4.1 million barrels, down 3.9 percent from last year's level.