Heating oil cost U.S. households 65% more in Oct from year-ago -EIA

Nov 17 (Reuters) - Heating oil costs for U.S. households rose by 65% in October compared to the same month last year, due to depleted stocks furthered by low imports and production constraints, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday.

The EIA's weekly Heating Oil and Propane Update showed heating oil prices climbed to a record high of $5.9 per gallon in the week ending Nov. 7, according to the data for the winter heating season from October through March going back to 1990.

Households that rely on heating oil are concentrated in New England, where 33% of homes are primarily heated by the fuel, compared to the nationwide average of 4.1%, the EIA said citing the 2021 Census data.

Stockpiles of distillate fuel in the U.S. Northeast stood at 15.2 million barrels on Nov. 11, 44% lower than for the same week in 2021, the EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed.

The East Coast also imported 38% lesser distillate fuel in the first eight months of 2022 from the same period last year, while the region's refining capacity has taken a hit in recent years, the EIA said.

In 2019, Philadelphia Energy Solutions permanently idled its 335,000 barrel-per-day refinery, the East Coast's largest, after a massive fire, squeezing supplies in the country's busiest, most densely populated corridor.

An average U.S. household that uses heating oil as its primary heating fuel would spend $2,694 on the fuel this winter, 45% higher than $1,859 for the winter of 2021-22, according the November update of the EIA's Winter Fuels Outlook.

The price of winter heating oil was seen averaging $5.14 a gallon this year, 32% more than last winter's average of $3.90, and consumption of the fuel was forecast to rise 10% on the year, the EIA said.

Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrea Ricci

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.