U.S. oil supplies drop sharply, but remain high

July 3, 2013 at 4:25 PM

WASHINGTON, July 3 (UPI) -- U.S. crude oil inventories fell sharply in the week, dropping by 10.3 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

Crude oil stockpiles have been historically high for months. With the sharp decline, crude oil inventories, at 383.8 million barrels, are still above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, the EIA said.

The agency said supplies of motor grade gasoline fell by 1.7 million barrels in the week to 223.7 million barrels. Meanwhile, supplies of distillate fuels, which include home heating oil, fell by 2.4 million barrels to 120.8 million barrels. Inventories of distillate fuels are near the lower limit of the average range for this time of year. Supplies of gasoline are "well above the upper limit of the average range," the agency said.

The national average price of unleaded gasoline fell during the week, dropping 8.1 cents per gallon to reach $3.496 per gallon, putting the price of gasoline 14 cents above the same week of 2012.

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