The weekly report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed an unexpectedly large build in crude oil inventories. The stockpile climbed 4.1 million barrels during the week ending January 6. Analysts were looking for a smaller build of 1.162 million barrels, according to a Thomson Reuters survey. The total stockpile now stands at 483.1 million barrels.
U.S crude oil imports averaged approximately 9.1 million barrels per day for the week, higher by 1.9 million barrels from the week before. Over the course of the past four weeks the average per day has been 8.2 million barrels.
Crude oil refinery inputs averaged 418,000 more barrels per day than the prior week’s average, bringing the average inputs to about 17.1 million barrels per day.
Gasoline production rose for the week, averaging approximately 9.7 million barrels per day. Distillate production (fuel and diesel oils) was unchanged, averaging over 5.3 million barrels per day. The total motor gasoline inventories rose by 5 million barrels last week. Finished gasoline inventories experienced an increase while blending components also rose. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 8.4 million barrels while propane/propylene inventories decreased 4.5 million barrels. The total for commercial petroleum inventories climbed by 13.4 million barrels from the prior week.
In response to today’s report, crude oil initially fell by 50 cents in the minutes following, but then rebounded sharply by over $1.50. The WTI contract is trading higher by nearly 3% to $52.20 at the time of this writing.