Oil supplies increase

Jan. 21, 2011 at 10:01 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 2.6 million barrels last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

The agency said in its weekly report that inventories, at 335.7 million barrels, remain above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Gasoline inventories rose by 4.5 million barrels to 227.7 million barrels and are in the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Supplies of distillate fuels, which include heating oil, rose by 1 million barrels to 165.8 million barrels.

Inventories of finished gasoline fell while gasoline blending component stockpiles rose during the week, the energy agency reported.

Using a four-week rolling average, demand for gasoline, averaging 9 million barrels per day, was up 2 percent from the same period a year ago. Demand for distillate fuel, at 3.7 million barrels per day, was 1.8 percent higher than the same week a year ago.

Demand for jet fuel in the week was 4.6 percent lower than a year ago, the administration said.

The national average retail price for gasoline increased from a week ago and came in higher for the seventh consecutive week, rising 1.5 cents higher than the previous week and 36.5 cents higher than year ago with an average price of $3.104 per gallon on Monday.

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