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US crude oil supplies grew by 300,000 barrels

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

Crude supplies grew by 300,000 barrels, or 0.1 percent, to 394.1 million barrels, which is 1.8 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a drop of 1 million barrels for the week ended June 14, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies grew by 200,000 barrels, or 0.1 percent, to 221.7 million barrels. That's 9.4 percent more than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to increase by 1.2 million barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended June 14 was 0.4 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8.8 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 89.3 percent of total capacity on average, up 1.8 percentage points from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to increase to 88.5 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 500,000 barrels to 121.6 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to rise by 300,000 barrels.

Benchmark crude fell 27 cents to $98.40 a barrel in New York.