WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 4.1 million barrels last week, significantly more than economists expected, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
The agency said inventories climbed to 376.4 million barrels. Economists had expected a gain of about 1.9 million barrels in the week.
Supplies of crude oil remain "well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year," the agency said in a report issued Thursday, a day later than normal due to the President's Day holiday.
The EIA said supplies of distillate fuels, which include home heating oil, dropped by 2.3 million barrels to 123.6 million barrels. Inventories of distillate fuels are near the lower limit of the average range for this time of year, the agency said.
Stockpiles of gasoline fell by 2.9 million barrels to 230.3 million barrels this week, but remain in the middle of the average range for this time of year.