Crude Oil Barrel Count

EIA Petroleum Status Report

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) provides weekly information on petroleum inventories in the U.S., whether produced here or abroad. The level of inventories helps determine prices for petroleum products.

Released on 8/13/08 For wk 8/8 2008
Crude oil inventories (weekly change)
Actual -0.4M barrels
Previous 1.7 M barrels

Gasoline stocks plunged 6.4 million barrels in the Aug. 8 week to 202.8 million, a drawdown that tripped an immediate rise in oil prices. Stocks of crude oil slipped 0.4 million barrels to 296.5 million with distillate stocks making it a clean sweep, down 1.7 million barrels to 131.6 million. Refineries, operating at a very mild 85.9 percent of capacity, are cutting back on production as oil and pump prices fall. Gasoline production in fact declined in the week though supply is still 0.1 percent higher than a year ago. Despite the cut in production, gasoline supply continues to exceed demand which is down 1.9 percent on the year. Jet fuel demand is much lower, down 8.5 percent year-on-year. Oil prices may rally in reaction to this report but the long term outlook for slowing economic growth is likely to overshadow weekly changes in inventories.

As is evident from the chart, crude oil stocks can fluctuate dramatically over the year. When oil prices nearly reached $50 per barrel in August 2004, financial market players began to monitor crude oil inventories. It is not surprising to see sharp price hikes in crude oil when inventories are falling. Conversely, one would expect price declines when inventories are rising.

Data Source: Haver Analytics | Consensus Data Source: Market News International and Thomson Financial

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