Crude oil supplies climb by a million barrels

AP News
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Posted: Aug 03, 2011 10:45 AM
Crude oil supplies climb by a million barrels

The nation's commercial crude oil and gasoline supplies rose last week, the government said Wednesday.

Crude supplies increased by 1 million barrels, or 0.3 percent, to 355 million barrels, which is 0.8 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected an increase of 2 million barrels for the week ended July 29, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies rose by 1.7 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, to 215.2 million barrels. That was above analysts' expectations for an increase of 350,000 barrels and 3.5 percent below year-ago levels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended July 29 was 3.6 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging nearly 9.1 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 89.3 percent of total capacity on average, a rise of 1 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to increase to 88.5 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, grew by 400,000 barrels to 152.3 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate supplies to rise by 1.8 million barrels.

Oil fell $1.95 to $91.84 per barrel in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.