US crude oil supplies grew by 900,000 barrels

Energy Department says US crude oil supplies rose last week, gasoline inventories fell

Associated Press

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

Crude supplies grew by 900,000 barrels, or 0.2 percent, to 388.6 million barrels, which is 4.2 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a rise of 1.4 million barrels for the week ended April 19, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies shrank by 3.9 million barrels, or 1.8 percent, to 217.8 million barrels. That's 2.9 percent more than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to decline by 700,000 barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended April 19 was down 1.7 percent from a year earlier, averaging over 8.5 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 83.5 percent of total capacity on average, down 2.8 percentage points from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to increase to 86.9 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, added 100,000 barrels to 115.3 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to drop by 450,000 barrels.

Benchmark crude rose 89 cents to $$90.07 a barrel in New York.

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