U.S. Crude Oil Supplies Grew by 4.1 Million Barrels

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

Crude supplies grew by 4.1 million barrels, or 1.1 percent, to 376.4 million barrels, which is 10.5 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected an increase of 2 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 15, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHFI  ) .

Gasoline supplies fell by 2.9 million barrels, or 1.2 percent, to 230.4 million barrels. That's 0.5 percent below year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to decline by 1.4 million barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Feb. 15 was up by 2.8 percent from a year earlier, averaging 8.4 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 82.9 percent of total capacity on average, down 0.9 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to fall to 83.3 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, shrank by 2.3 million barrels to 123.6 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to decline by 1.4 million barrels.

Benchmark crude futures fell by $2.08, or 2.2 percent, to $93.14 a barrel in New York.


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