Crude oil, gasoline inventories lower last week
Crude oil prices were lower at the close of trade in New York on Wednesday after having risen after new data from the US Energy Information Administration showed that inventories of both crude oil and gasoline were lower by unexpectedly high amounts in the week ending August 3.
Gasoline stockpiles, which had been expected to rise by around 900,000 barrels during the week instead dropped 1.7 million barrels to 203 million barrels, while crude oil inventories were down by 4.1 million barrels when a decline of only 2.7 million barrels had been anticipated.
Refinery utilization was also down to 91.3 percent of capacity from 93.6 percent the week before, a rate that had not been expected to change much, bringing gasoline production down to 9.15 million barrels per day.
Meanwhile, distillates inventories were 1 million barrels higher to 127.5 million barrels.
Despite the inventories declines, and despite the fact that prices for West Texas Intermediate crude were higher in New York after the new numbers were announced, at the close of floor trade WTI for September delivery was 27 cents lower to $72.15 per barrel.
In London, meanwhile, September contracts for Brent crude dropped 21 cents to $71.59 per barrel on the Intercontinental Exchange.
The price of Nymex September gasoline was also lower at the close, falling 1 cent to $1.94 per gallon, while September heating oil traded steady at $1.97 per gallon.
September natural gas, however, added 2 cents to trade at $6.22 per million British thermal units.
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