NEW YORK, N.Y., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices closed down Wednesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange after a government report on a higher-than-expected fall in crude inventories.
Crude prices fell 27 cents to $72.15 a barrel.
Commercial crude oil inventories, excluding supplies in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, dropped by 4.1 million barrels to 340.4 million barrels for the reporting period ending Aug. 3, the Weekly Petroleum Status Report said.
"Big surprise today (in the inventory numbers)," Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading, told Marketwatch. "(The) market is still tepid because of the perception that the driving season is coming to an end. The psychology of the market has been rather negative of late."
Heating oil rose 0.27 cent at $1.9668 a gallon while gasoline experienced a 0.65-cent drop to $1.9377 a gallon.
Natural gas rose 1.9 cents to $6.22 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline Wednesday was $2.821, down from $2.831 the previous day, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.