U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) rose by 4.7 million barrels during the week ended May 17, vs. expectations for a 600,000-barrel drop, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.
In the week ended May 10, crude inventories rose by 5.4 Mmbbl. The second-straight weekly build of roughly 5 Mmbbl seemed largely due to weak refining activity, an unusual occurrence this time of year, as gasoline makers typically are pushing out as much of the motor fuel as possible in anticipation of the start of the summer driving season, Kallanish Energy learns.
Refineries operated at 89.9% of their operable capacity last week, EIA said. The average for this time of year would be at least 90%.
U.S. crude oil inventories surprise analysts
|Week ended||Stored volume||Change from pervious week|
|May 17||476.78 million barrels||4.74 million barrels|
|May 10||472.04 Mmbbl||5.44 Mmbbl|
|May 3||466.60 Mmbbl||(3.97 Mmbbl)|
|April 26||470.57 Mmbbl||9.94 Mmbbl|
|April 19||460.63 Mmbbl||5.48 Mmbbl|
(Source: Energy Information Administration)
EIA also said total motor gasoline stockpiles increased by 3.7 Mmbbl during the week ended May 17, vs. forecasts for a drop of nearly 816,000 Bbls. In the May 10 data, gasoline inventories fell by 1.1 Mmbbl.
Distillate fuel inventories rose by 800,000 Bbls last week vs. expectations for a drop of 48,000 Bbls. In the previous week, distillate stockpiles rose by 84,000 Bbls.
Gasoline production decreased last week, averaging 9.9 million barrels per day (Mmbpd), EIA said. Distillate fuel production also fell last week, averaging 5.2 Mmbpd.
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