According to the recent petroleum and oil weekly update prepared by the Energy Information Administration, there is an analysis on the reasons for the recent hike in gasoline prices. Some of the reasons include the recent expectations of major central banks – including BOC, ECB and Federal Reserve – to issue stimulus plans, the tensions between Iran and the U.S – Iran is threatening to shut down Strait of Hormuz – refinery outages in the U.S. During last week there was a decrease in the U.S stockpiles: the total U.S oil and petroleum stockpiles declined during last week by 4.5 million bl; further, crude oil stockpiles also dropped by 3.6 million bl. There was a rise in refinery inputs but a decline in production and imports. Finally, the prices of gasoline and diesel in the U.S rose again during last week.
Here is a weekly overview for the week ending on August 10th 2012 of the U.S oil and petroleum market:
Crude Oil Stockpiles
For the week ending on August 10th, U.S. Petroleum and crude oil stockpiles decreased by 4.5 million barrels and reached 1,795.6 million barrels. The current oil stockpiles are still similar to the quota as of last year: the current crude oil stockpiles are 0.3 million barrels above oil stockpiles levels of the parallel week during 2011.
U.S. Ending Stocks of crude oil also declined by 3.6 million barrels and reached 1,062.1 million barrels.
The U.S. Ending Stocks of Total Gasoline also decreased by 1.15% compared with last week’s stocks; it reached 203.7 million barrels.
The chart shows the changes of petroleum and oil stockpiles and WTI crude oil price between 2008 and 2012. During the last couple of years the lagged linear correlation between WTI oil price and current oil stockpiles was -0.173.
Petroleum production refinery inputs and imports (for the week of August 10th)
During last week refinery inputs rose while production and imports declined.
The four week average of U.S. production (million of barrels a day) for the week of August 10th decreased to 6.271; it is 14.1% above the average production at the same week in 2011;
The crude oil refinery inputs (4 week average) decreased to 15.671 (million b/d), a 0.3% gain compared with the week of 3/8/2012, and were 1.3% above the same week last year.
Crude oil imports declined at 8.846 (for 4 week average) compared with the week of 3/8/2012; they were 5.3% below the average during the same week last year.
Below is a detailed review of the information listed above (for the week of August 10th):
Propane stocks rose by 971 thousand barrels and reached 69,027 thousand barrels.
Crude Oil, Gasoline and Diesel Prices for the Week Ending on August 10th
The average U.S. gasoline retail price rose again by 8 cents to $3.72 /g – $0.12/g higher than the price during the same week in 2011.
The national average Diesel price also increased by 12 cent to $3.97/g; this price is $0.13/g higher than last year’s average price at same time.
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