Crude oil prices and inventories up

Feb. 24, 2010 at 6:07 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices topped $80 per barrel Wednesday in New York despite a report that said U.S. inventories rose by 3 million barrels in the week ending Feb. 19.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude inventories increased from 334.5 million to 337.5 million barrels during the week, although gasoline inventories fell by 0.9 million barrels to 231.2 million.

Typically, crude oil inventories build up in the spring in advance of an increase in driving.

April delivery of light, sweet crude rose $1.35 to $80.21 Wednesday. Heating oil prices gained 0.0127 cents to $2.045 per gallon. Reformulated gasoline blendstock prices added 0.0059 cents to $2.0715 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices rose 0.035 cents to $4.813 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline was $2.678 per gallon Wednesday, up from Tuesday's $2.66, AAA said.

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