Tags: US | Crude | Inventories

Oil, Gasoline Supplies Rise Amid Steady Demand

Wednesday, 03 Mar 2010 02:58 PM

Crude oil and gasoline supplies rose last week, the government said Wednesday.

Crude inventories rose by 4.1 million barrels, or 1.2 percent, to 341.6 million barrels. That was 3.7 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a build of 1.1 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 26, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline inventories rose by 700,000 barrels, or 0.3 percent, to 231.9 million barrels. That was higher than analysts' expectations and 7.4 percent above year-ago levels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Feb. 26 was 0.1 percent higher than a year earlier, averaging nearly 8.8 million barrels a day.

At the same time, U.S. refineries ran at 81.9 percent of total capacity on average, a rise of 0.7 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to fall to 81.1 percent.

Inventories of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 900,000 barrels to 151.8 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 26. Analysts expected a decline of 975,000 barrels.

Benchmark crude prices added 48 cents at $80.16 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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