Crude oil inventories fell 5.3 million barrels in the September 7 week to 396.2 million, 15.4 percent below their level a year ago. But product inventories once again moved in the other direction and rose, with gasoline up 1.3 million barrels to 235.9 million, 8.0 percent above the year ago level, and distillates up sharply by 6.2 million barrels to 139.3 million, 3.6 percent lower than last year at this time. The decline in crude oil inventories was smaller than the 8.6 million draw reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group, while the API's gasoline build was larger at 2.1 million barrels and its build for gasoline smaller, at 5.8 million barrels. WTI prices rose about 50 cents to around $70.85 per barrel following the release of the EIA report.
Refineries ramped up to operate at 97.6 percent of their operable capacity, up 1.0 percentage point from the prior week. Production increased, averaging 10.4 million barrels per day for gasoline and 5.5 million barrels per day for distillates.
Crude oil imports fell by 123,000 barrels per day from the prior week to a daily average of 7.6 million barrels. Over the past 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged 7.6 million barrels per day, 0.2 percent above the level in the same period last year.
Domestic crude oil production remained stable at an average of 11.0 million barrels per day over the last 4 weeks, 18.0 percent more than last year at this time.
Overall product demand continued to rise, with total product supplied over the last 4 weeks averaging 21.5 million barrels per day, up 5.1 percent from the same period last year. Demand for the main products was mixed, however, with supplied gasoline averaging 9.7 million per day, up 1.2 percent year-on-year, while supplied distillates averaged 4.0 million barrels per day, down 0.2 percent from the same period last year.