US crude supplies up by 300,000 barrels last week

AP News
Posted: Feb 08, 2012 11:01 AM
US crude supplies up by 300,000 barrels last week

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

Crude supplies grew by 300,000 barrels, or 0.1 percent, to 339.2 million barrels, which is 1.7 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected an increase of 2.25 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 3, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies rose by 1.6 million barrels, or 0.7 percent, to 231.8 million barrels. That's 3.8 percent less than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to grow by 1.25 million barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Feb. 3 was 6.8 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 82.8 percent of total capacity on average, up 1 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to remain unchanged.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 1.2 million barrels to 146.6 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to shrink by 200,000 barrels.

Benchmark crude rose 66 cents to $99.7 a barrel in New York.