Gov't says oil, gasoline inventories decline

AP News
Posted: Oct 14, 2010 11:41 AM
Gov't says oil, gasoline inventories decline

U.S. crude, gasoline and distillate inventories fell last week, the government said Thursday.

Crude inventories declined by 400,000 barrels, or 0.1 percent, to 360.5 million barrels for the week ending Oct. 8, the Energy Department said. The total was 6.7 percent more than the year-ago level and remained at the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Analysts had forecast a build of 1.5 million barrels for the week, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline inventories decreased by 1.8 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, to 218.2 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report. Analysts expected supplies to shrink by 1.6 million barrels.

Gasoline stockpiles remained 4.3 percent above year-ago levels and were higher than the upper limit of the average range. Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Oct. 8 fell 1.1 percent from the year-ago period, averaging 9 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 81.9 percent of total capacity on average, compared with 83.1 percent in the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to increase 0.6 percentage point to 83.7 percent.

Inventories of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 300,000 barrels to 172.2 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to decline by 1.5 million barrels.

Crude prices rose 72 cents to $83.73 a barrel in early trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.