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Crude Oil Price Rises as Inventory Growth Slows

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report Wednesday morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels last week, maintaining a total U.S. commercial crude inventory of 523.2 million barrels. The commercial crude inventory stands at historically high levels for this time of year, according to the EIA.

Tuesday evening the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported that crude inventories rose by 1.5 million barrels in the week ending March 11. For the same period, analysts had estimated an increase of 3.3 million barrels in crude inventories. API also reported gasoline supplies fell by 1.2 million barrels and distillate stockpiles fell by 830,000 barrels.

Total gasoline inventories decreased by 700,000 barrels last week, according to the EIA, yet remain well above the upper limit of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied (the agency’s measure of consumption) averaged 9.4 million barrels a day for the past four weeks, up by 6.4% compared with the same period a year ago.