HOUSTON, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.6 million barrels per day (b/d) during the week ending Aug. 5, up by 728,000 b/d from the previous week's average, according to a weekly report issued by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Refineries operated at 94.3 percent of their operable capacity last week, higher than 91 percent in the previous week, said the Weekly Petroleum Data report.
Both the gasoline and distillate fuel production increased, averaging 10.2 million b/d and 5.1 million b/d respectively.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, rose by 5.5 million barrels from the previous week to 432 million barrels, about 5 percent below the five year average for this time of year.
Total motor gasoline inventories fell by 5 million barrels last week, about 6 percent below the five year average for this time of year.
Also last week, finished gasoline inventories surged but blending components inventories shrank, while distillate fuel inventories rose by 2.2 million barrels, about 24 percent below the five year average for this time of year.
Propane/propylene inventories went up by 2.1 million barrels last week, about 10 percent below the five year average for this time of year.
Total commercial petroleum inventories grew by 13 million barrels last week.
Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 20.1 million b/d, down by 2.4 percent from year ago.
Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 8.9 million b/d, down by 6.3 percent year on year.
Distillate fuel product supplied averaged 3.8 million b/d over the past four weeks, down by 3.7 percent from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied was up 11 percent from the previous year.
U.S. oil prices gained ground on Wednesday due to the significant week-on-week decrease of U.S. gasoline stocks for the week ending Aug. 5.
An outsized rebound of implied gasoline demand last week probably gave some comfort to those who are concerned about potential demand destruction, according to Matt Smith, a lead oil analyst with Kpler, a commodity data company.
The West Texas Intermediate for September delivery gained 1.43 U.S. dollars, or 1.58 percent, to settle at 91.93 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for October delivery increased 1.09 dollars, or 1.13 percent, to close at 97.40 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange. ■