May 20, 2009

U.S. oil supplies drop in week

U.S. crude oil inventories dropped in the week ending May 15, although demand remains depressed, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

Crude inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels to 368.5 million barrels, with supplies remaining above the average range for this time of year, EIA said.

Gasoline inventories fell by 4.3 million barrels to 204 million barrels, below the lower limit of the average range.

Supplies of distillate fuels, which includes heating oil, increased by 0.6 million barrels to 148.1 million barrels.

Finished gasoline and gasoline blending components inventories also fell during the week, EIA reported.

Demand for motor gasoline, meanwhile, averaged 9.1 million barrels per day during the week, 1.2 percent lower than demand a year ago. Distillate fuel demand, at 3.5 million barrels per day, is down 12 percent from a year ago, EIA said. Demand for jet fuel is down 9 percent over the past four weeks compared the same period a year ago.