2012 Economic Calendar
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EIA Petroleum Status Report  
Released On 2/29/2012 10:30:00 AM For wk2/24, 2012
Crude oil inventories (weekly change)1.6 M barrels4.2 M barrels
Gasoline (weekly change)-0.6 M barrels-1.6 M barrels
Distillates (weekly change)-0.2 M barrels-2.1 M barrels

A slowing in refinery inputs contributed to a large 4.2 million barrel build in oil inventories to 344.9 million barrels in the February 24 week. Facing weakening demand tied to rising fuel prices, refineries slowed production in the week, operating at 83.6 percent of capacity for a nearly two percentage point weekly dip. Gasoline demand, measured here by wholesale supplies, is down a very steep 6.7 percent compared to this time last year. Distillate demand is down 5.1 percent. The price of light crude is down slightly at $106.50 following today's results.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) provides weekly information on petroleum inventories in the U.S., whether produced here or abroad. The level of inventories helps determine prices for petroleum products.  Why Investors Care
As is evident from the chart, crude oil stocks can fluctuate dramatically over the year. When oil prices nearly reached $50 per barrel in August 2004, financial market players began to monitor crude oil inventories. It is not surprising to see sharp price hikes in crude oil when inventories are falling. Conversely, one would expect price declines when inventories are rising.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

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