US crude oil supplies grow by 2.1 million barrels

AP News
Posted: May 16, 2012 10:42 AM
US crude oil supplies grow by 2.1 million barrels

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

Crude supplies grew by 2.1 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, to 381.6 million barrels, which is 3.1 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected an increase of 1.5 million barrels for the week ended May 11, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies fell by 2.8 million barrels, or 1.4 percent, to 204.3 million barrels. That's 0.8 percent lower than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to decline by 480,000 barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended May 11 was 2.6 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8.8 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 88.3 percent of total capacity on average, up 1.9 percentage points from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to increase to 86.8 percent.

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Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, shrank by 1 million barrels to 119.8 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to rise by 120,000 barrels.

Benchmark crude was down 14 cents to $93.84 a barrel in New York.