The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed
that crude stockpiles dropped unexpectedly, as refinery demand
strengthened. The report further revealed that within the 'refined
products' category, gasoline stocks rose, while distillate supplies
were down from the week-ago levels.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) Petroleum Status
Report, which contains data of the previous week ending Friday,
outlines information regarding the weekly change in petroleum
inventories held and produced by the U.S., both locally and
The report provides an overview of the level of reserves and their
movements, thereby helping investors understand the demand/supply
dynamics of petroleum products. It is an indicator of current oil
prices and volatility that affect businesses of companies engaged
in the oil and refining industry, such as ExxonMobil
), Chevron Corp.
Valero Energy Corp.
and Tesoro Corp.
).Analysis of the DataCrude Oil:
The federal government's EIA report
revealed that crude inventories fell by 482,000 barrels for the
week ending September 28, 2012, following a slide of 2.45 million
barrels in the previous week.
The analysts surveyed by Platts - the energy information arm of
McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.
had expected oil stocks to go up some 1.5 million barrels. An
uptick in refinery utilization rates led to the surprise stockpile
drawdown with the world's biggest oil consumer even as imports
However, crude inventories at the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma -
the key delivery hub for U.S. crude futures traded on the New York
Mercantile Exchange - edged up by 135,000 barrels from the previous
week's level to 43.87 million barrels. Stocks are currently just
under the all-time high of 47.78 million barrels reached in
At 364.70 million barrels, current crude supplies are 8.4% above
the year-earlier level, and exceeds the upper limit of the average
for this time of the year. The crude supply cover was down from
25.0 days in the previous week to 24.8 days. In the year-ago
period, the supply cover was 22.2 days.Gasoline:
Supplies of gasoline were up for the
first time in 10 weeks as domestic consumption tumbled, while
production and imports rose.
The 114,000 barrels addition - compared to analyst projections for
an unchanged supply level - took gasoline stockpiles up to 195.94
million barrels. As a result of this increase, the existing
inventory level of the most widely used petroleum product is now
8.3% off the year-earlier levels and is in the lower limit of the
Distillate fuel supplies (including
diesel and heating oil) dropped by 3.69 million barrels last week,
much higher than analyst expectations for a 400,000 decrease in
inventory level. The fall in distillate fuel stocks - the third in
as many weeks - could be attributed to stronger demand and lower
At 124.06 million barrels, distillate supplies are 20.9% below the
year-ago level and are near the lower limit of the average range
for this time of the year.Refinery Rates:
Refinery utilization was up 0.8%
from the prior week to 88.2%. The analysts were expecting the
refinery run rate to remain unchanged.
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