NEW YORK — The nation's crude oil supplies shrank last week, the government said Wednesday.
Crude supplies declined by 600,000 barrels, or 0.2 percent, to 394.9 million barrels, which is 3.5 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.
Analysts expected an increase of 300,000 barrels for the week ended May 10, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Gasoline supplies grew by 2.6 million barrels, or 1.2 percent, to 217.7 million barrels. That's 6.5 percent above year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to drop by 800,000 barrels.
Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended May 10 was 3.1 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8.5 million barrels a day.
U.S. refineries ran at 88 percent of total capacity on average, up 1 percentage point from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to rise to 87.4 percent.
Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 2.3 million barrels to 119.9 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to grow by 800,000 barrels.
Benchmark crude futures dropped by $1.85, or 2 percent, to $92.36 a barrel in New York.