NEW YORK (AP) -- Crude oil supplies rose last week, while gasoline supplies dropped more than analysts expected, the government said Wednesday.
Crude supplies grew by 2.1 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, to 352.8 million barrels, which is 0.4 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 March 18, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Gasoline supplies dropped by 5.3 million barrels, or 2.4 percent, to 219.7 million barrels. That was more than twice what analysts expected and 2.2 percent below year-ago levels.
Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended March 18 was 1.2 percent above a year earlier, averaging about 9.1 million barrels a day.
U.S. refineries ran at 84.1 percent of total capacity, a rise/drop of 0.7 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to rise to 83.7 percent.
Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, were unchanged at 152.6 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to fall by 1.5 million barrels.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose 73 cents to $105.70 per barrel in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.