The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported U.S. crude oil and petroleum stockpiles headed in opposite directions in the week to Oct. 11.
U.S. crude oil inventories, excluding the strategic petroleum reserve, climbed 9.3 million barrels from the week prior to 434.9 million bbl, according to the agency's Oct. 17 "Weekly Petroleum Status Report." Total gasoline inventories declined by 2.6 million bbl to 226.2 million bbl while distillate inventories fell by 3.8 million bbl to 123.5 million bbl.
Total U.S. crude oil inputs declined 1.4% on the week to 15.4 million barrels per day for a trailing four-week average of 16.2 million bbl/d, down 1.2% from the same period a year ago but 2.4% above the five-year average. The EIA pegged U.S. refinery utilization at 83.1%, down from both the year-ago level of 88.8% and the five-year average of 86.3%, with PADD 1 utilization pegged at 59.8%.
On June 21, a fire broke out at a 335,000-bbl/d refinery operated by Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc. in PADD 1, destroying one of the complex's alkylation units. Two weeks before the fire, one of the plant's fluid catalytic cracking units, which converts high-boiling, high-molecular-weight hydrocarbon fractions into products such as gasoline, reportedly had been shut down. The company announced June 26 that it would shut down the complex and prepare it for sale.
In late July, Valero Energy Corp. executives said the company was supplying the U.S. East Coast market from its 220,000-bbl/d Pembroke refinery in the U.K. in the wake of the disaster.
Meanwhile, total U.S. gasoline production was mixed versus historical averages. Finished motor gasoline production was up 3.2% from the prior week to bring the trailing four-week average to 9.9 million bbl/d, down 1.0% from the year-ago level but up 1.2% from the five-year average.
Distillate production declined 3.0% on the week, bringing the trailing four-week average to 4.9 million bbl/d, down 0.6% from the same week a year ago but up 2.9% versus the five-year average.