The nation's crude oil supplies rose last week, while gasoline supplies dropped, the government said Wednesday.
Crude supplies increased by 5.3 million barrels, or 1.5 percent, to 357.1 million barrels, which is 1.3 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.
Analysts expected oil supplies to decline by 1.2 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 26, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Gasoline supplies fell by 2.8 million barrels, or 1.3 percent, to 208.6 million barrels. That was a bigger drop than analysts expected and 7.4 percent below year-ago levels.
Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Aug. 26 was 2.1 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging just under 9.2 million barrels a day.
U.S. refineries ran at 89.2 percent of total capacity on average, a drop of 1.1 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to slip to 89.8 percent.
Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 400,000 barrels to 156.1 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to increase by 1.1 million barrels.
Crude prices rose 10 cents to $89 per barrel in New York.