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Originally published Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 8:22 AM

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US crude oil supplies rise by 2.8 million barrels

The nation's crude oil supplies increased last week, the government said Thursday.

The Associated Press

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The nation's crude oil supplies increased last week, the government said Thursday.

Crude supplies rose by 2.8 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, to 363.1 million barrels, which is 8.5 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report. The report was released a day later than usual because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.

Analysts expected an increase of 2 million barrels for the week ended Jan. 18, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies decreased by 1.7 million barrels, or 0.7 percent, to 233.3 million barrels. That's 2.7 percent above year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to rise by 1.6 million barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Jan. 18 was 1.4 percent more than a year earlier, averaging 8.3 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 83.6 percent of total capacity on average, down 5.6 percentage points from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to decline to 88.5 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, grew by 500,000 barrels to 132.9 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to rise by 750,000 barrels.

In morning trading benchmark crude futures rose by $1 to $96.23 a barrel in New York.

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