Crude oil inventories posted the first weekly decline in 10 weeks, falling by a barely significant 0.2 million barrels in the March 10 week to 528.2 million, up 7.3 percent from last year at this time. The minuscule drop in crude stocks was accompanied by more substantial declines in product inventories, with gasoline down 3.1 million barrels to 246.3 million, 1.4 percent lower than a year ago, and distillates down 4.2 million barrels to 157.3 million, a 2.5 percent year-on-year decrease.
Crude oil imports averaged 7.4 million barrels per day, down by 745,000 barrels per day from the prior week week. Over the last four weeks, imports averaged 7.6 million barrels per day, 4.4 percent less than in the same period last year.
Refineries operated at 85.1 percent of their operable capacity, down 0.8 percentage points from the previous week. Production also decreased, with gasoline averaging 9.5 million barrels per day and distillate fuel averaging 4.7 million barrels per day.
On the demand side, total products supplied over the last 4 weeks averaged 19.8 million barrels per day, up only 0.3 percent from the same period last year but still an increase of 200,000 barrels per day from the prior week's reading. Supplied motor gasoline averaged 9.0 million barrels per day, an increase of 200,000 barrels from the prior week's average though down a substantial 4.5 percent from the year ago level. But distillate product supplied registered another increase in the year-on-year gain, averaging 4.2 million barrels per day and now up a sharp 13.4 percent from the year ago level.