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Ahead of the Bell: Oil supplies expected to shrink

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Energy Department is expected to report on Wednesday that the nation's crude oil supplies dropped by 1.5 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 20, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Analysts estimate that gasoline supplies also fell by 1.5 million barrels, distillate stocks — which include diesel and heating fuel — declined 1 million barrels and refinery utilization fell by 0.7 percentage point to 91.8 percent of capacity.

The Energy Information Administration releases its weekly report at 10:30 a.m. EDT.