Crude oil inventories rose 2.4 million barrels in the March 2 week to 425.9 million, 19.4 percent below the level a year ago. Gasoline inventories fell 0.8 million barrels to 251.0 million, up 0.7 percent from last year at this time, while inventories of distillates fell 0.6 million barrels to 137.4 million, down 14.9 percent year-on-year. The weekly build in crude oil inventories was smaller than the 5.7 million increase reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute, a private industry group. WTI prices rose about 50 cents to around $62.30 per barrel immediately following the release of the EIA report.
Refineries operated at 88.9 percent of their operable capacity during the week, up 0.2 percentage points from the prior week. Refinery production increased, with the production of gasoline rising to 9.9 million barrels per day while that of distillates rose to 4.6 million barrels per day.
Crude oil imports rose by 721,000 barrels per day in the week to an average of 8.0 million barrels per day. The 4-week average remained at 7.5 million barrels per day, 4.2 percent less than in the same period last year.
Domestic crude oil production over the last four weeks averaged 10.3 million barrels per day, up a sharp 14.1 percent from the level a year ago.
Demand remains steady, with total products supplied averaging 20.3 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, up 3.4 percent from the same period last year. Of this amount, motor gasoline supplied averaged 9.0 million barrels per day, up 3.3 percent from last year, while distillates supplied averaged 4.0 million barrels per day, up 0.6 percent year-on-year.