The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed
that crude stockpiles jumped unexpectedly to their highest level
since July 1990, as imports climbed. The agency's report further
revealed that refined product inventories - gasoline and distillate
- increased from their previous week levels on weaker demand.
Meanwhile, refinery utilization rate reflected a decrease of a
The Energy Information Administration ("EIA") Petroleum Status
Report, which contains data for 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
Valero Energy Corp.
Analysis of the Data
The federal government's EIA report revealed that crude inventories
rose by 2.86 million barrels for the week ending June 15, 2012,
after falling by a modest 191,000 barrels the week before.
Analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of
McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.
), had expected oil stocks to go down some 600,000 barrels. A jump
in the level of imports and production led to the stockpile
build-up with the world's biggest oil consumer.
In particular, crude inventories at the Cushing terminal in
Oklahoma - the key delivery hub for U.S. crude futures traded on
the New York Mercantile Exchange - increased by 360,000 barrels
from previous week's level to 47.76 million barrels. Stocks are
just under the all-time high of 47.78 million barrels reached
earlier in June.
At 387.30 million barrels, current crude supplies are 6.5% above
the year-earlier level, and are over the upper limit of the average
for this time of the year. The crude supply cover was down from
25.1 days in the previous week to 25.0 days. In the year-ago
period, the supply cover was 24.2 days.
Supplies of gasoline increased for the second time in 3 weeks as
domestic consumption edged down 4.8% to 8.69 million barrels a day
and imports rose. This was partially offset by lower
The 943,000 barrels gain - compared to analyst projections for a
600,000 hike in supply level - took gasoline stockpiles up to
202.74 million barrels. Notwithstanding this increase, existing
inventory level of the most widely used petroleum product is still
5.6% below the year-earlier levels and is in the lower limit of the
Distillate fuel supplies (including diesel and heating oil)
increased by 1.16 million barrels last week, much larger than
analyst expectations for a 600,000 barrel build. The rise in
distillate fuel stocks - just the fourth increase in 19 weeks -
could be attributed to weaker demand.
At 121.13 million barrels, distillate supplies are 14.7% below
the year-ago level and are in the lower limit of the average range
for this time of the year.
Refinery utilization was down a marginal 0.1% from the prior week
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