Breaking a string of 11 consecutive weekly builds, crude oil inventories fell 7.3 million barrels in the November 30 week to 443.2 million, 1.1 percent below their level a year ago. But product inventories rose, with gasoline up 1.7 million barrels to 226.3 million, 2.4 percent above the year ago level, and distillates up 3.8 million barrels to 125.6 million, 3.0 percent lower than last year. The draw in crude oil inventories contrasted with an increase of 5.4 million barrels reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a private industry group, which also reported increases of 3.6 million barrels for gasoline and 4.3 million barrels for distillates. WTI prices rose about 60 cents to around $51.20 per barrel immediately following the release of the EIA report.
Refineries operated at 95.5 percent of their operable capacity during the week, marginally below the prior week's level. Production was mixed, decreasing to an average of 9.7 million barrels per day for gasoline while rising to an average of 5.6 million barrels per day for distillates.
Crude oil imports fell to an average of 7.2 million barrels per day, down 943,000 barrels per day from the prior week. Over the last 4 weeks, crude oil imports averaged 7.6 million barrels per day, 0.3 percent more than in the same period last year.
Domestic crude oil production remained steady in the week, with the 4-week average remaining at 11.7 million barrels per day, up 21.0 percent from last year at this time.
Overall product demand strengthened, with total products supplied over the last 4 weeks averaging 21.2 million barrels per day, 7.6 percent more than in the same period last year. Demand for the main products remained mixed, with supplied gasoline averaging 9.1 million barrels per day, up 0.2 percent from the level a year ago, while supplied distillates averaged 4.1 million barrels per day, up 5.1 percent from the same period last year.