US crude production continues to rise as inventory builds begin to ease
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported an 870,000 barrel increase in crude oil stockpiles for the week ending March 24, 2017:
- Stockpiles on the East Coast declined 1.9 million barrels last week.
- Inventories in the Midwest declined 900,000 barrels, including a 300,000 barrel decrease at the Cushing storage hub in Oklahoma.
- Inventories on the West Coast rose 1.4 million barrels while stockpiles in the Rocky Mountains region increased by 100,000 barrels.
- Gulf Coast inventories continue to build, adding another 2 million barrels last week.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) had predicted an increase of 1.9 million barrels. Total US commercial crude oil stockpiles reached another record high of 534 million barrels last week.
The EIA also reported another 700,000 barrel decline in Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR). The US Department of Energy (DOE) has been selling SPR since January to fund various government spending programs, including upgrades to SPR infrastructure.
The country imported 8.2 million bbl/day of crude last week, a decrease of 83,000 bbl/day from the previous week.
Gasoline inventories continue to decline from the highs of January, despite higher production and higher imports:
- Production rose from 9.8 to 10.0 million bbl/day.
- Imports of gasoline products rose from 325,000 to 521,000 bbl/day, reversing declines from the previous week.
- Gasoline inventories fell 3.7 million barrels last week.
Distillate fuel inventories also declined last week:
- Production ticked slightly higher from 4.8 to 4.9 million bbl/day.
- Imports of distillate products fell from 127,000 to 115,000 bbl/day.
- Inventory volumes also declined 2.5 million barrels.
Refinery inputs rose from 15.8 to 16.2 million bbl/day last week. Refinery utilization also improved from 87.4% to 89.3%.
US domestic crude oil production continues to rise, increasing another 18,000 bbl/day last week. Production out of Lower 48 states rose 25,000 bbl/day while output from Alaska declined 7,000 bbl/day.
Crude oil production is now up 700,000 bbl/day since the lows of last October.
Note that US inventory numbers now exclude about 31 million barrels held in lease stocks.