Crude oil stockpiles fall by 900,000 barrels

AP News
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Posted: Nov 18, 2009 10:50 AM

Crude inventories and gasoline inventories fell last week, missing analysts' expectations, the government said Wednesday.

Crude inventories fell by 900,000 barrels, or 0.3 percent, to 336.8 million barrels, which is 6.5 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a build of 1.2 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 13, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline inventories fell 1.7 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, to 209.1 million barrels. That missed analysts' forecasts for a 950,000 barrel increase and was 5.3 percent above year-ago levels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Nov. 13 was 0.4 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging nearly 8.9 million barrels a day.

At the same time, U.S. refineries ran at 79.4 percent of total capacity on average, a drop of half a percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to build to 80.2 percent.

Inventories of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 300,000 barrels to 167.4 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 13. Analysts expected distillate stocks to drop by 700,000 barrels.

Crude prices rose 74 cents to $79.88 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.