Crude oil stockpiles increased 2.1 million barrels

AP News
Posted: Dec 02, 2009 10:39 AM

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

Crude inventories rose by 2.1 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, to 339.9 million barrels, which is 6.1 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts had expected a drop of 1.3 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 27, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline inventories increased by 4 million barrels, or 1.9 percent, to 214.1 million barrels. That far exceeded analyst expectations and was 5.7 percent above year-ago levels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Nov. 27 was 0.7 percent higher than a year earlier, averaging nearly 9 million barrels a day.

At the same time, U.S. refineries ran at 79.7 percent of total capacity on average, a drop of 0.6 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to build to 80.8 percent.

Inventories of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.2 million barrels to 165.7 barrels for the week ended Nov. 27. Analysts expected distillate stocks to drop 450,000 barrels.

Crude prices fell 72 cents to $77.65 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.