EIA: US crude oil inventories build, ending seven consecutive weekly declines

US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 2.4 million bbl for the week ended Aug. 2 compared with the previous week, the Energy Information Administration said.

US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 2.4 million bbl for the week ended Aug. 2 compared with the previous week, the Energy Information Administration said.

At 438.9 million bbl, oil inventories reached about 2% above the 5-year average for this time of year, EIA said in its weekly Petroleum Status Report.

The build ended 7 weeks of consecutive inventory declines. The gain in crude oil supplies surprised many. Analysts and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected inventories to fall 2.8 million bbl.

Light, sweet crude oil prices for both September and October fell by more than $2.50/bbl on the news to the lowest front-month crude settlement on the New York market since January. The September contract settled at $51.09/bbl on Aug. 7.

Total motor gasoline inventories climbed by 4.4 million bbl, reaching 4% above the 5-year average for this time of year. Finished gasoline and blending components inventories both increased. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 1.5 million bbl to reach about 1% below the 5-year average for this time of year.

Propane-propylene inventories increased by 2.9 million bbl for the week ended Aug. 2, reaching about 8% above the 5-year average for this time of year.

US refineries operated at 96.4% of capacity, with inputs averaging 17.8 million b/d for the week ended Aug. 2, which was up 786,000 b/d from the previous week’s average. Gasoline production increased, averaging 10.4 million b/d. Distillate fuel production increased, averaging 5.3 million b/d.

Crude oil imports rose, averaged 7.1 million b/d for the week ended Aug. 2. That was up by 485,000 b/d from the previous week. Over the past 4 weeks, oil imports averaged about 6.9 million b/d, which was 14.9% less than the same 4-week period for 2018.

Total motor gasoline imports, including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components, last week averaged 1.2 million b/d and distillate fuel imports averaged 253,000 b/d.

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