Crude oil stockpiles climb by 1.8 million barrels

AP News
Posted: Nov 12, 2009 11:18 AM

Crude oil inventories and gasoline supplies rose last week, the government said Wednesday.

Oil supplies rose by 1.8 million barrels, or 0.5 percent, to 337.7 million barrels, which is 7.5 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected an increase of 1 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 6, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels, or 1.2 percent, to 210.8 million barrels. That topped analysts' forecasts and was 7.3 percent above year-ago levels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Nov. 6 was 1 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging nearly 8.9 million barrels a day.

At the same time, U.S. refineries ran at 79.9 percent of total capacity on average, a drop of 0.7 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to grow to 81 percent.

Inventories of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 300,000 barrels to 167.7 million barrels for the week. Analysts expected distillate stocks to rise by 900,000 barrels.

Crude prices fell $2.09 to $77.19 per barrel in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.