November crude is down 33 cents to $79.20 per barrel after today's inventory reports revealed the first increase in crude supplies since mid-August. According to the Energy Department, crude inventories climbed by 1.8 million barrels to 320.6 million for the week ended September 21. In the previous 4 weeks, the government had noted an 18.3 million-barrel decline in crude stores. Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported an increase of 895,000 barrels to 320.7 million barrels.
Among petroleum-based commodities, motor gasoline supplies added 600,000 barrels for the week to 191.4 million barrels, per the Energy Department, while the API noted a gain of 1 million barrels to 199.1 million. Distillate reports were mixed; the Energy Department reported an increase of 1.6 million barrels to 137.1 million barrels, but the API said distillate supplies dropped by 1.9 million barrels to 136 million barrels. Refinery utilization slipped again for the week, down to 86.9% of capacity from 89.6% a week ago.