Oil inventory levels rise in Gulf Coast and Midwest

The year is coming to a close with another jump in the nation’s stockpile of oil as the U.S. struggles to work through its ongoing glut of crude.

Crude oil inventory levels rose by 600,000 barrels last week, according to the Department of Energy, although that growth was more than offset by declines in stockpiles of gasoline and other petroleum products. The federal government describes oil inventories as “near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.” This is the second consecutive week of oil builds after several weeks of reductions.

Almost all of the oil storage growth came in the Gulf Coast. Inventory levels actually fell in most regions except the Gulf Coast and Midwest.

Gasoline storage levels fell by 1.6 million barrels, showing more of the large stockpiles of refined products are being unloaded. The U.S. also saw a big decline in propane storage as more of the petroleum product for cooking and heating is being exported.