Crude oil inventories rose 3.3 million barrels in April 6 week to 428.6 million, 19.6 percent below their level a year ago. Product inventories were mixed, with gasoline rising 0.5 million barrels in the week to 238.9 million, 1.2 percent above last year's level at this time, while distillates fell 1.0 million barrels to 128.4 million, down 14.5 percent year-on-year. The EIA crude oil build was larger than the 1.8 million barrel increase reported Tuesday afternoon by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group, but the API also reported a larger build for gasoline of 2.0 million barrels and a larger draw of 3.8 million barrels for distillates. WTI prices, which had risen in earlier trading on the back of possible U.S. military action in Syria, rose another 80 cents to around $66.80 per barrel immediately following the release of the EIA report.
Refineries ramped up to operate at 93.5 percent of their operable capacity, up 0.5 percentage points from the prior week. Production increased, averaging 10.2 million barrels per day for gasoline and 5.3 million barrels per day for distillates.
Imports rose to an average of 8.7 million barrels per day, up by 752,000 million barrels per day from the prior week. The 4-week average rose to 7.9 million barrels per day, 1.5 percent less than in the same period last year.
Domestic crude oil production over the last four weeks averaged 10.5 million barrels per day, 13.9 percent above the level a year ago.
Overall product demand eased slightly while remaining strong, with total product supplied over the last four weeks averaging 20.7 million barrels per day, up 5.0 percent from the same period last year. But demand for the main product categories continued to sag and moved into negative year-on-year territory, as gasoline supplied averaged 9.3 million barrels per day, down 0.6 percent from the same period last year while distillates averaged 4.1 million barrels per day, down 3.6 percent year-on-year.