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US crude oil supplies grow by 2.9 million barrels

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[June 21, 2012]  NEW YORK (AP) -- The nation's crude oil supplies rose last week, the government said Wednesday.

Crude supplies grew by 2.9 million barrels, or 0.7 percent, to 387.3 million barrels, which is 6.4 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected a drop of 600,000 barrels for the week ended June 15, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies grew by 900,000 barrels, or 0.5 percent, to 202.7 million barrels. That's 5.5 percent below year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to increase by 600,000 barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended June 15 was 5 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8.9 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 91.9 percent of total capacity on average, down 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to increase to 92.2 percent.

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Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, grew by 1.2 million barrels to 121.1 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to rise by 600,000 barrels.

Benchmark crude fell $1.73, or 2.1 percent to $82.62 a barrel in New York.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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