According to recent data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. crude oil inventories saw a greater-than-expected increase last week for the fifth consecutive build. While gasoline and distillate fuel stocks decreased during the same period.

Key Highlights:

  • Commercial crude-oil stocks (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) surged by 4.2 million barrels to reach 447.2 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 23.
  • This figure represents a storage level about 1% below the five-year average for this time of year.
  • Analysts surveyed had forecasted a rise in crude stockpiles by only 1.5 million barrels, indicating a larger-than-anticipated increase.
  • Storage at the SPR grew by 743,000 barrels, reaching 360.3 million barrels.
  • Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the Nymex delivery hub, witnessed an increase of 1.5 million barrels to 31 million barrels.
  • Refinery capacity utilization edged up by 0.9 percentage points to hit 81.5%, marking the first increase this year.
  • Refinery runs were projected to increase by 1.1 percentage points, according to the Journal survey findings.
  • U.S. crude oil production remained steady at 13.3 million barrels a day.
  • Crude imports decreased by 269,000 barrels a day to 6.4 million barrels a day, while exports were down by 237,000 barrels a day at 4.7 million barrels a day.

Crude Oil Futures Dip After EIA Report

Crude Oil Prices:

  • West Texas Intermediate for April delivery decreased by 0.6% to $78.41 a barrel
  • International benchmark Brent was 0.3% lower at $83.38 a barrel

Gasoline Stockpiles:

  • U.S. gasoline stockpiles dropped for the fourth consecutive week by 2.8 million barrels to 244.2 million barrels
  • Gasoline demand rose to 8.5 million barrels a day compared to 8.2 million barrels a day the previous week

Distillate Fuel Stocks:

  • Extended their decline for the sixth week, falling by 510,000 barrels to 121.1 million barrels
  • Distillate fuel stocks were 8% below the five-year average


  • Gasoline and distillate stocks were forecasted to fall by 1.3 million barrels and 2 million barrels respectively

Weekly Inventory Changes (Barrels):

| | Crude | Gasoline | Distillates | Refinery Use | |---------------|-------|----------|-------------|----------------| | EIA Data | 4.2 | -2.8 | -0.5 | 0.9 | | Forecast | 1.5 | -1.3 | -2.0 | 1.1 |

Note: Numbers in millions of barrels, except refinery use which is in percentage points.

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