DOE: Oil and Gas Supplies Grew


"Crude supplies rose by 600,000 barrels to 370.9 million barrels."

Associated Press

The nation's crude oil and gasoline supplies increased last week as refinery capacity rose, the Energy Department said Wednesday.

Crude supplies rose by 600,000 barrels to 370.9 million barrels, the department's Energy Information Administration said. The total is 0.2%age point more than a week ago and 1.6% more than a year ago.

Analysts expected a 1.6 million-barrel decrease in oil supplies, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies rose 3.8 million barrels, or 1.8%, to 209.7 million barrels, the agency said. The total is about 5.4% less than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to increase by 750,000 barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks that ended May 20 was 2.1% less than it was in the year-ago period, averaging nearly 9 million barrels a day.

The Energy Department said U.S. refineries ran at 86.3% of total capacity on average, which was an increase of 3.1%. Analysts had forecast refining capacity at 83.6%.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, declined by 2 million barrels, or 1.4%, to 141.1 million barrels. The total was 7.5% less than a year ago.

Analysts predicted distillate stocks would increase 500,000 barrels.

Benchmark crude rose 16 cents to $99.75 per barrel in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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