US crude oil supplies drop by 6.5 million barrels

AP News
Posted: Aug 01, 2012 10:38 AM
US crude oil supplies drop by 6.5 million barrels

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation's crude oil supplies declined last week, the government said Wednesday.

Crude supplies fell by 6.5 million barrels, or 1.7 percent, to 373.6 million barrels, which is 5.2 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a drop of 1.6 million barrels for the week ended July 27, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies shrank by 2.2 million barrels, or 1 percent, to 207.9 million barrels. That's 3.4 percent less than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to increase by 400,000 barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended July 27 was 3.4 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8.8 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 92.2 percent of total capacity on average, down 0.8 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to decline to 92.8 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1 million barrels to 124.3 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to grow by 1.6 million barrels.

Benchmark crude futures rose 76 cents to $88.82 a barrel in New York.