CRUDE INVENTORIES FELL LAST WEEK

CRUDE INVENTORIES FELL LAST WEEK

U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 4.9 million barrels during the week ended March 13 compared with the previous week, the American Petroleum Institute's latest weekly supply bulletin shows.

Crude stocks were down to 342.0 million barrels from 346.9 million barrels a week earlier, but were more than the 335.2 million barrels in inventory a year ago.Primary inventories of gasoline were down to 225.3 million barrels from 225.4 million barrels a week earlier, but were more than the 216.5 million barrels on hand a year ago.

Primary inventories of distillate fuel oil, used as home heating and diesel fuel, fell to 105.5 million barrels from 105.7 million barrels a week earlier, but were above year-ago levels of 98.4 million barrels.

Primary stocks are those held by refiners, importers and at pipeline terminals. They do not reflect stocks held by jobbers, retailers or consumers.

Unleaded gasoline supplies decreased to 181.4 million barrels from 182.3 million barrels a week earlier, but were more than the 167.3 million barrels on hand a year ago.

Gasoline production was up at 6.5 million barrels from 6.4 million barrels the week before, but unchanged from the year-ago output of 6.5 million b/d.

Unleaded gasoline production was 6.4 million b/d, up from 6.3 million b/d a week ago, and up from the 6.3 million b/d level of a year ago.

Distillate production was up at 2.6 million barrels a day from 2.5 million b/d last week, but down from the 2.9 million b/d on hand a year ago.

Distillate fuel imports were up, to 243,000 b/d, from 148,000 b/d in the prior week, but down from year-ago levels of 268,000 b/d.

The refinery utilization rate was up at 82.0 percent compared with 80.2 percent last week, but down from 82.9 percent a year ago.

Imports of gasoline rose to 258,000 b/d from 240,000 b/d the previous week, and were more than the 80,000 b/d imported a year ago.

Crude oil imports were down to 5.4 million b/d from 5.5 million b/d in the previous week, but unchanged from the 5.4 million b/d of a year ago.