Crude oil inventories were up 1.9 million barrels in the February 2 week to 420.3 million, the second weekly increase in a row after 11 weeks of consecutive drawdowns, putting the year-on-year decline at 17.4 percent. Product inventories also increased, with gasoline up 3.4 million barrels to 245.5 million, 4.2 percent below the year ago level, and distillates up 3.9 million barrels to 141.8 million, 16.9 percent less than last year. The EIA's report of a crude oil build contrasted with a 1.1 million barrel drawdown reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group. WTI prices, which moved higher in earlier trade after the bullish API report, fell sharply following the release of the inventory builds reported by the EIA, dropping more than a dollar to around $62.40 per barrel.
Refineries revved up operations in the week to operate at 92.5 percent of their operable capacity, up 4.4 percentage points from the prior week. Gasoline production rose sharply by 0.5 million barrels per day to an average of 10.1 million, while the production of distillates increased by the same amount to 5.1 million per barrels per day.
Crude oil imports fell by 538,000 barrels per day to an average of 7.9 million barrels per day during the week. The decline put average crude oil imports over the last four weeks at 8.1 million barrels per day, 4.5 percent less than in the same period last year.
Demand remained steady though year-on-year comparisons weakened during the week, with total products supplied averaging 20.8 million barrels per day, up by 4.8 percent from the same period last year. Of this amount, gasoline supplied averaged 8.9 million barrels per day, up 6.5 percent from a year ago, while distillates supplied averaged 4.2 million barrels per day, up 8.9 percent.