United States crude stocks rose by one million barrels, just over half of what analysts were expecting, as a drop in refinery run rates was partly offset by a decrease in US imports, according to data released by the US Energy Informa¬tion Administration.
At a total of 362.3 million bar¬rels for the reporting week that ended February 14, US crude stocks were 3.58% above the EIA’s five-year average, however, stocks were about 14.1 million barrels below year-ago levels.
EIA data show that refiners’ uti¬lization rates dropped 0.3 percent¬age points to 86.8% of capacity as several US refineries experienced unplanned outages.
Chevron shut several units at its 243,000 barrels per day refinery in Richmond, California. Philadelphia Energy Solutions shut a crude unit at its 330,000 barrels per day Phila¬delphia refinery on February 7 for planned maintenance. The outages were partially offset by the return of producing units at Shell’s 145,000 barrels per day Puget Sound refinery in Washington and Delek’s 70,000 barrels per day El Dorado, Arkansas, refinery.
Imports of crude to the US fell 508,000 barrels per day to 7.421 million barrels per day led by 398,000 barrels per day decline in imports from Venezuela to 636,000 barrels per day. There was a 522,000 barrels per day increase in imports from Saudi Arabia but there were also import declines of 390,000 barrels per day and 394,000 barrels per day from Iraq and Kuwait, respectively, offset those gains.