US crude oil supplies grew by 2.2 million barrels

AP News
Posted: May 31, 2012 11:17 AM
US crude oil supplies grew by 2.2 million barrels

The nation's crude oil supplies increased last week, the government said Thursday.

Crude supplies grew by 2.2 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, to 384.7 million barrels, which is 2.9 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a rise of 100,000 barrels, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies fell by 800,000 barrels, or 0.4 percent, to 200.2 million barrels. That's 5.7 percent less than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to be unchanged.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended May 25 was 2.6 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8.9 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 89.1 percent of total capacity on average, up 1.6 percentage points from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to rise to 88.1 percent.

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Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, dropped by 1.7 million barrels to 117.8 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to grow by 150,000 barrels.

Benchmark crude fell $1.27 to $86.55 a barrel in New York.

The government's weekly report was released a day later than usual because of the Memorial Day holiday.

(This version corrects long headline to read gasoline supllies fell.)