The nation's crude oil supplies increased last week, the government said Wednesday.
Crude supplies grew by 4 million barrels, or 1.1 percent, to 373 million barrels, which is 2.7 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.
Analysts expected a rise of 1.5 million barrels for the week ended April 20, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Gasoline supplies shrank by 2.2 million barrels, or 1 percent, to 211.7 million barrels. That's 3 percent more than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to decrease by 500,000 barrels.
Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended April 20 was 4.2 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8.7 million barrels a day.
U.S. refineries ran at 84.7 percent of total capacity on average, up 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to increase to 85 percent.
Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 3.1 million barrels to 125.9 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to grow by 80,000 barrels.
Benchmark crude fell 37 cents to $103.18 a barrel in New York.