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Crude Oil Stockpiles Rise

Crude inventories grew by 2.6 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, to 343.2 million barrels, which is 4.3 percent above year-ago levels.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Crude oil and gasoline supplies rose last week, the government said Wednesday.

Crude inventories grew by 2.6 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, to 343.2 million barrels, which is 4.3 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected oil supplies to grow by 3 million barrels for the week ended Jan. 28, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline inventories increased by 6.2 million barrels, or 2.7 percent, to 236.2 million barrels. That was 3.6 percent above year-ago levels, and more than analysts expected.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Jan. 28 was 0.6 percent higher than a year earlier, averaging nearly 8.7 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 84.5 percent of total capacity on average, a rise of 2.7 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to fall to 81.3 percent.

Inventories of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.6 million barrels to 164.1 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to drop by 1.5 million barrels.

Crude prices rose 65 cents to $91.42 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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