US crude oil supplies drop by 2.4 million barrels

AP News
Posted: Dec 05, 2012 10:57 AM

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

Crude supplies decreased by 2.4 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, to 371.8 million barrels, which is 10.8 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a drop of 1.25 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 30, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies increased by 7.9 million barrels, or 3.8 percent, to 212.1 million barrels. That's 1.3 percent below year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to rise by 2 million barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Nov. 30 was 0.1 percent higher than a year earlier, averaging 8.6 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 90.6 percent of total capacity on average, 2 percentage points higher than the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to rise to 89.2 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, grew by 3 million barrels to 115.1 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to increase by 800,000 barrels.

Benchmark crude futures fell by 86 cents to $87.64 a barrel in New York.