Published On: Thu, Aug 25th, 2011

Crude oil supplies shrink by 2.2 million barrels

Crude oil supplies fell last week, while gasoline supplies grew, the government said Wednesday.

Crude supplies shrank by 2.2 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, to 351.8 million barrels, which is 1.8 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a build of 2 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 19, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies increased by 1.4 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, to 211.4 million barrels. That was 6.3 percent below year-ago levels.Analysts expected gasoline supplies to decline by 1.4 million barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Aug. 19 was 2.4 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging about 9.2 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 90.3 percent of total capacity on average, a rise of 1.2 percentage points from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to fall to 88.9 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 1.7 million barrels to 155.7 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to grow by 1.3 million barrels.

Benchmark oil rose 56 cents to $86 per barrel on morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


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