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Oil Stocks Soared In 2022, But Oil Production Didn't

With 2022 behind us, many have reflected on what a banner year it has been for oil stocks. From pariah to market darling amid an energy crisis, major stocks like Exxon (+71.42%)  and Chevron (+49.45%) have seen major gains. 

WTI, however, closed out the year at just $4 above (+5.3%) where it was at the start of the year—and other components of the oil industry seem equally as lackluster. 

U.S. crude oil production hasn’t kept pace with the meteoric rise in some oil company stocks. It also hasn’t seen the same increase as WTI saw. U.S. crude production rose 300,000 barrels per day in 2022 (+2.6%), from 11.7 million bpd to 12 million bpd, per EIA data–despite calls from the Biden Administration on the oil companies to ramp up output. SPR inventories have sagged by a staggering 218 million barrels as the Biden Administration scrambled to arrest climbing prices at the pump, while commercial crude stocks in the United States basically stayed the same, at 419 million barrels (up from 417.9 million barrels at the start of 2022, per EIA WPSR data). 

US refining utilization increased from 89% at the start of the year to 92% as the refiners tried to take advantage of higher gasoline prices, which are 10.6 cents higher today than they were at the start of the year. Total motor gasoline inventories dipped in 2022, from 232.8 million barrels at the start of the year to 223 million barrels as of the most recent EIA report. 

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