Crude oil supplies drop by 5.2 million barrels

AP News
Posted: Aug 10, 2011 10:41 AM
Crude oil supplies drop by 5.2 million barrels

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

Crude supplies dropped by 5.2 million barrels, or 1.5 percent, to 349.8 million barrels, which is 1.5 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected an increase of 1.8 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 5, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies fell by 1.6 million barrels, or 0.7 percent, to 213.6 million barrels. That was a bigger drop than analysts expected and 4.4 percent below year-ago levels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Aug. 5 was 3.4 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 9.1 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 90 percent of total capacity on average, up 0.7 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to slip to 88.5 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 700,000 barrels to 151.5 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to grow by 1.2 million barrels.

Crude prices rose $1.61 to $80.91 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.