Crude oil inventories fell 1.1 million barrels in the April 13 week to 427.6 million, 19.7 percent below their level a year ago. Product inventories also declined and more substantially, with gasoline down 3.0 million barrels to 236.0 million, 0.7 percent below last year's level in the comparable week, while distillates fell 3.1 million barrels to 125.3 million, down 15.5 percent year-on-year. The EIA report's crude oil draw was only slightly larger than the 1.0 million barrel decline reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group, but significantly exceeded the API's draws for gasoline and distillates, which were 2.5 million and 0.9 million barrels, respectively. WTI prices, which were already higher on the back of yesterday's API data, jumped another 70 cents to around $68.40 per barrel immediately following the release of the EIA report.
Refineries operated at 92.4 percent of their operable capacity during the week, down 0.9 percentage points from the prior week. But gasoline production nevertheless marginally increased, averaging 10.2 million barrels per day, while the production of distillates did decline, averaging 5.1 million barrels per day.
Imports fell by 720,000 barrels per day to an average of 7.9 million barrels per day, though the 4-week average rose to 8.2 million barrels per day, 2.7 percent above the level 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 showed continuing strength and was slightly firmer, with total product supplied over the last four weeks averaging 20.8 million barrels per day, up a solid 5.7 percent from the same period last year. But demand for main products continued to lag and was soft in comparison, with gasoline supplied averaging 9.4 million barrels per day during the period, up 0.7 percent from the same period last year, while distillates supplied averaged 4.2 million barrels per day, down 2.0 percent year-on-year.