CRUDE OIL INVENTORIES RISE, API SAYS

CRUDE OIL INVENTORIES RISE, API SAYS

U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 5.6 million barrels during the week ended Feb. 28 compared with the previous week, the American Petroleum Institute's latest supply bulletin shows.

Crude stocks were up to 339.8 million barrels from 334.2 million barrels a week earlier, and were more than the 336.1 million barrels in inventory a year earlier.Primary inventories of distillate fuel oil, used as home heating and diesel fuel, fell to 108.4 million barrels from 113.2 million barrels a week earlier, but were above year-earlier levels of 103.3 million barrels.

Primary inventories of gasoline were down to 229.6 million barrels from 230.8 million barrels a week earlier, but were more than the 222.6 million barrels on hand in the year-earlier week.

Unleaded gasoline supplies decreased to 186.0 million barrels from 187.0 million barrels a week earlier, but were more than the 172.6 million barrels on hand a year earlier.

Gasoline production was down at 6.7 million barrels a day from 6.8 million b/d the week before, but was up from the year-earlier output of 6.6 million b/ d.

Unleaded gasoline production was 6.6 million b/d, down from 6.7 million b/d a week earlier but up from the 6.4-million-b/d level of a year earlier.

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

Distillate production was unchanged from the previous week at 2.7 million b/d, but was down from the 2.8 million b/d on hand a year earlier.

Distillate fuel imports were up to 314,000 b/d from 138,000 b/d in the prior week, and up from year-earlier levels of 95,000 b/d.

The refinery utilization rate was down at 79.2 percent compared with 80.1 percent in the previous week, and down from 85.3 percent a year earlier.

Imports of gasoline fell to 258,000 b/d from 345,000 b/d the previous week, but were more than the 43,000 b/d imported a year earlier.

Crude oil imports were up to 5.6 million b/d from 4.9 million b/d in the previous week, and up from the 5.5 million b/d of a year earlier.