Oil Gains Despite Crude Build, Refinery Rate at 10-Month Low

Liubov Georges
By  Liubov Georges , DTN Energy Reporter

WASHINGTON, D.C. (DTN) -- Oil futures nearest delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange shifted higher post-inventory trade Thursday after federal data confirmed U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased for the fourth straight week through Feb. 16 as refiners struggled to raise run rates amid heavy seasonal maintenance and unplanned outages.

U.S. refinery run rate averaged 80.6% of capacity last week, a nearly 10-month low, for a second week with PADD 1 East Coast operators reducing utilization 1.8% to 79.7% and PADD 3 Gulf Coast refiners continuing to operate at a reduced 79.8% capacity.

Nationwide, refinery crude inputs averaged 14.6 million barrels per day (bpd) during the week ended Feb. 16, 436,000 bpd below the 2023 input rate. U.S. crude production held at a record-high 13.3 million bpd for the third straight week. As a result, commercial crude oil inventories in the United States increased 3.5 million bbl in the reviewed week, slightly above calls for a 3.2 million bbl build.

In refined fuel complex, distillate inventories increased 4 million bbl during the week ended Feb. 16 to 121.7 million bbl, roughly 10% below the five-year average. Implied demand for middle distillates jumped 416,000 bpd from a depressed level of 3.514 million bpd. Meanwhile, gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of demand, edged up a modest 32,000 bpd to 8.2 million bpd. Gasoline stockpiles dipped 292,000 bbl in the reviewed week to 247.3 million bbl.

Near noon, April West Texas Intermediate futures advanced $0.89 bbl to $78.80 bbl, and March ULSD futures gained $0.0316 to $2.7362 gallon. Front-month RBOB futures advanced $0.0102 to $2.2962 per gallon.

Liubov Georges can be reached at liubov.georges@dtn.com.

Liubov Georges