U.S. crude oil supplies dropped 6.9 million barrels (1.8%) for the week ending July 12, according to an Energy Information Administration report (link opens a PDF) released today.
After falling 2.6% the previous two weeks this latest report puts inventories another step closer to receding from above average levels. While imports managed a 180,000 barrel-per-day increase, relatively larger refinery inputs dropped off 119,000 bbpd.
Gasoline inventories headed 1.4% higher after a 1.2% decrease the week before. Demand for motor gasoline is up a seasonally adjusted 2.3% over the past four weeks, and supplies remain "well above the upper limit of the average range."
Pump prices rose for the first time in a month, increasing a substantial $0.147 to a national average of $3.639 per gallon. Compared with the same time last year, consumers are paying an average $0.212 more per gallon.
Distillates supplies increased 3.2% after rising 2.5% the week before. Distillates demand is up a seasonally adjusted 12% over the past four weeks, with supplies pushed into "the lower half of the average range for this time of year," according to the EIA.
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