The Energy Information Administration’s most recent weekly petroleum report shows that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories are close to the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, even after a 4.7 million barrel decrease for the week ended December 20.
Motor gasoline inventories are close to the upper section of its average but distillate fuel, and propane/propylene are in the lower limits. Commercial petroleum inventories fell last week by 12.7 million barrels. Motor gasoline imports were generally around 486,000 barrels per day.
Between December 13 and 20, U.S. oil refineries processed 302,000 barrels of crude oil more per day, on average, than the previous week. The per day average for inputs was 16.2 million barrels, and refineries were operating at 92.7 percent of operable capacity during the week.
Imports of crude oil have fallen in the last four weeks compared to the previous year. The week ended December 20 had imports of 7.5 million barrels per day, the same figure as the last four weeks.
The data place imports at 9.7 percent less than 2012′s figures. Domestic crude oil production for the lower 48 states plus Alaska reached 8,111 barrels per day. That is 1,127 barrels per day more than the same period in 2012.
The EIA also released its weekly natural gas storage report on Friday. As of December 20, 3,071 billion cubic feet of working gas was in storage. This is below last year’s total by 591 Bcf and below the 5-year average of 3,384 Bcf.
The year-over-year percentage of decline for the East was 17, and for the West, 18. An earlier report by the EIA projects that by 2040, natural gas production will reach 37.5 trillion cubic feet per year, 56 percent greater than 2012′s levels. Consumption, domestic supply, and net exports are all exports to rise throughout the period.
After its December meeting,the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries recognized that increasing world oil demands would be met by non-OPEC suppliers, but the group decided to maintain its current output of 30 million barrels per day.