Energy Department says oil, gasoline supplies grow

AP News
Posted: Oct 20, 2010 11:01 AM
Energy Department says oil, gasoline supplies grow

U.S. inventories of crude and gasoline rose last week while distillate stockpiles fell, the government said Wednesday.

Commercial crude inventories increased by 700,000 barrels, or 0.2 percentage point, to 361.2 million barrels for the week ending Oct. 15, the Energy Department said. The total was 6.5 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 an increase of 2.1 million barrels for the week, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline inventories added 1.2 million barrels, or 0.5 percentage point, at 219.3 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report. Analysts expected supplies to decline by 1.2 million barrels.

Gasoline reserves were 6 percent above year-ago levels and at the upper limit of the average range. Demand for gasoline over the past four weeks was 9 million barrels a day, which was 1.4 percent less than the year-ago period.

U.S. refineries ran at 82.5 percent of total capacity on average, compared with 81.9 percent in the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to increase 0.4 percentage point to 82.3 percent.

Inventories of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2.2 million barrels, or 1.3 percent, to 170.1 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to decline by 1.3 million barrels.

Crude oil prices rose $1.60 to $81.09 a barrel in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.