The nation's crude oil supplies increased last week, the government said Wednesday.
Crude supplies grew by 3.7 million barrels, or 1 percent, to 379.5 million barrels, which is 2.5 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.
Analysts expected a rise of 2.2 million barrels for the week ended May 4, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Gasoline supplies fell by 2.6 million barrels, or 1.2 percent, to 207.1 million barrels. That's 0.6 percent more than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to shrink by 600,000 barrels.
Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended May 4 was 3.2 percent lower than a year ago, averaging 8.7 million barrels a day.
U.S. refineries ran at 86.4 percent of total capacity on average, up 1.4 percentage points from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to rise to 85.3 percent.
Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 3.3 million barrels to 120.8 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to be unchanged.
Benchmark crude fell $1.01 to $96 a barrel in New York.