US crude oil supplies climb by 8.5 million barrels

AP News
Posted: Sep 19, 2012 10:57 AM
US crude oil supplies climb by 8.5 million barrels

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

Crude supplies grew by 8.5 million barrels, or 2.4 percent, to 367.6 million barrels, which is 8.4 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a rise of 2.5 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 14, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Much of the increase was due to a jump in crude imports, up 15 percent from the previous week.

Gasoline supplies declined by 1.4 million barrels, or 0.7 percent, to 196.3 million barrels. That's 8.3 percent lower than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to grow by 1 million barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Sept. 14 was 0.9 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8.9 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 88.9 percent of total capacity on average, up 2.4 percentage points from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to rise to 86.7 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, shrank by 300,000 barrels to 128.2 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to increase by a million barrels.

Benchmark crude futures fell $2.81, or 3 percent, to $92.48 a barrel in New York.