The nation's crude oil supplies increased last week, the government said Wednesday.
Crude supplies rose by 3.9 million barrels, or 1.2 percent, to 334.7 million barrels, which is 6.9 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.
Analysts expected an increase of 1 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 25, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Gasoline supplies rose by 200,000 barrels, or 0.1 percent, to 209.8 million barrels. That's 0.1 percent below year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to increase by 1.5 million barrels.
Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Nov. 25 was 2.9 percent below a year earlier, averaging 8.7 million barrels a day.
U.S. refineries ran at 84.6 percent of total capacity on average, 0.9 percentage point down from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to rise to 86 percent.
Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 5.5 million barrels to 138.5 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to decline by 1.5 million barrels.
In morning trading benchmark crude rose $1.40 to $101.18 a barrel in New York.