Oil: Prices up, inventories down


Oil prices have risen in the last week, according to information from Energy Information Administration, which showed a larger decline than analysts had expected.

Oil inventories dropped 1.6 million barrels and now stand nearly 100 million barrels lower than where they were a year ago, which reflects a significant drop – approaching twenty percent.

Gasoline inventories rose by 300,000 barrels and refiners are likely begin to slow production and move out winter gasoline ahead of the transition to summer gasoline when winter-spec fuel can no longer be sold.

Refinery utilization dropped 1.7 percent to 88.1 percent of capacity. Falling utilization generally puts upward pressure on gasoline prices because of the corresponding fall in supply.

A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil traded at $61.68 a week ago while opening this week at $63.34.