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US gasoline stockpiles decline as oil inventories climb in week to Aug. 9

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Aug. 14 in its "Weekly Petroleum Status Report" that domestic gasoline stockpiles and refinery runs declined in the week to Aug. 9.

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Total U.S. crude oil inputs slid 2.7% on the week to 17.3 million barrels per day for a trailing four-week average of 17.3 million bbl/d, down 1.8% from the same period a year ago but 1.5% above the average seen during the previous five years. The EIA pegged U.S. refinery utilization at 94.8%, down from both the year-ago level of 98.1% and the five-year average of 95.2%, with PADD 1 utilization falling to 70.8%.

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. Ahead of the disaster, one of the plant's fluid catalytic cracking units, which converts high-boiling, high-molecular-weight hydrocarbon fractions into products such as gasoline, had reportedly been shut down for two weeks due to a prior fire. The company announced June 26 that it will 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-barrel-per-day Pembroke refinery in the UK in the wake of the disaster.

Meanwhile, total U.S. gasoline production was below historical averages. Finished motor gasoline production was up 1.8% from the prior week to bring the trailing four-week average to 10.1 million bbl/d, down 1.4% from the year-ago level and down 0.3% from the five-year average.

Distillate production declined 4.0% on the week, bringing the trailing four-week average to 5.3 million bbl/d, up 0.7% from the same week a year ago and up 3.9% versus the five-year average.

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U.S. crude oil inventories, excluding the strategic petroleum reserve, climbed by 1.6 million barrels from the week prior to 440.5 million barrels, while total gasoline inventories declined by 1.4 million barrels to 233.8 million barrels. Distillate inventories fell by 1.9 million barrels to 135.5 million barrels.

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