US gasoline inventories gain more than expected, consumption down

01 February 2012 18:07  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US inventories of finished motor gasoline increased more than analysts expected for the week ended 27 January, as indicated by governments statistics released on Wednesday.

Finished gasoline stockpiles rose by 3m bbl to reach 230.1m bbl for the week ended 27 January, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA). Analysts predicted inventories would increase by only 500,000 bbl.

The increase in inventories was caused by a decline in consumption of motor gasoline.

Consumption of finished gasoline for the week of 20 January was at 7.967 bbl/day, a drop of 131,000 bbl/day from the week ended 20 January. Compared with consumption levels one year ago on 28 January 2011, consumption was down by 582,000 bbl/day.

Production of motor gasoline dropped, though the number was not significant enough to compensate for the larger-than-expected climb in inventories. Motor gasoline production fell to 8,511m bbl/day for the week ended 27 January, a drop of 28,000 bbl/day from the week ended 20 January.

Refinery turnarounds and maintenance, particularly on the US Gulf coast, contributed to the lower production rates. On the US Gulf coast, production dropped 38,000 bbl/day for the week ended 27 January. Higher production in the midwest helped offset lower total motor gasoline production levels.  

BP is conducting a turnaround at its 406,570 bbl/day Texas City refinery in Texas. The duration of the turnaround is unknown. CITGO’s turnaround at its 157,000 bbl/day Corpus Christi refinery in Texas was completed after three weeks of maintenance, the company said on 31 January.

By: Anna Matherne

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