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US crude supplies shrink by 1.1 million barrels

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[November 17, 2011]  NEW YORK (AP) -- The nation's crude oil supplies decreased last week, the government said Wednesday.

Crude supplies shrank by 1.1 million barrels, or 0.3 percent, to 337 million barrels, which is 5.8 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a decline of 1.5 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 11, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies grew by 1 million barrels, or 0.5 percent, to 205.2 million barrels. That's 1.2 percent below year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to fall by 1.5 million barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Nov.11 was 5.7 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8.6 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 84.8 percent of total capacity on average, 2.5 percentage points higher than the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to increase to 82.6 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, decreased by 1.9 million barrels to 133.7 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to shrink by 3 million barrels.

Benchmark crude rose $2.42, or 2.4 percent, to $101.80 a barrel in New York.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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