U.S. crude oil supplies dropped 7.2 million barrels (1.8%) for the week ending May 16, according to an Energy Information Administration report (link opens a PDF) released today.
After increasing 0.9 million barrels (0.2%) the previous week, these numbers mark the sharpest week-to-week decline since January. Simultaneous increases in refinery inputs (up 282,000 barrels per day) and a drop in imports (down 658,000 barrels per day) pushed supplies down.
Overall inventories have dropped 0.8% in the past 12 months.
While oil supplies shrank over the past week, gasoline inventories edged up 1.0 million barrels (0.5%) to more than compensate for the previous week's 0.8-million-barrel decline. Demand for motor gasoline over the last four-week period is up a seasonally adjusted 5.3%. In the last year, supplies have fallen 3.3%.
Over the past week, retail gasoline pump prices stayed relatively steady at $3.67 per gallon.
Distillates supplies, which include diesel and heating oil, increased 3.4 million barrels (3%) after two weeks of declines. Distillates demand for the last four weeks is up a seasonally adjusted 7.7%. In the past year, distillates inventories have declined 2.1%.