The nation's crude oil supplies rose more than analysts expected last week, the government said Wednesday.
Crude supplies grew by 4.7 million barrels, or 1.4 percent, to 337.6 million barrels, which is 7.8 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.
Analysts expected an increase of 200,000 barrels for the week ended Oct. 21, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Gasoline supplies dropped by 1.4 million barrels, or 0.7 percent, to 204.9 million barrels. That's 4.7 percent below year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to fall by 1.25 million barrels.
Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Oct. 21 was 2.7 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8.8 million barrels a day.
U.S. refineries ran at 84.8 percent of total capacity on average, 1.7 percentage points above the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to increase to 83.5 percent.
Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, shrank by 4.3 million barrels to 145.5 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to decline by 1.5 million barrels.
In New York benchmark crude fell $1.72 to $91.44 in morning trading.