Crude Oil Supplies Shrink by 1.3M Barrels


"U.S. crude oil and gasoline supplies declined last week."

U.S. crude oil and gasoline supplies declined last week, the government said Thursday.

Crude supplies shrank by 1.3 million barrels, or 0.4%, to 339.4 million barrels, which is 4.1% above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report. The report was delayed a day because of the Christmas holiday.

Analysts expected a drop of 3.2 million barrels for the week ended Dec. 24, according to a survey by Platts.

Gasoline supplies fell by 2.3 million barrels, or 1.1%, to 214.9 million barrels. That was 0.5% below year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to rise by 1.7 million barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Dec. 24 was 2.9% higher than a year earlier, averaging 9.3 million barrels a day.

Last week U.S. refineries ran at 87.8% of total capacity on average, a rise of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to remain unchanged.

Inventories of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 200,000 barrels to 161 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to grow by 500,000 barrels.

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