EIA: US crude stockpiles fell 2 million barrels last week
Crude oil prices were lower Wednesday after the US Energy Information Administration reported that while crude oil inventories dropped last week, stockpiles of both gasoline and distillates were higher during the week.
The EIA said that crude oil in storage dropped by 2 million barrels in the week ending 25 June but remained 12.9 million barrels above last year’s levels, while gasoline stockpiles were up by 500,000 barrels to 218.1 million barrels and distillates inventories added 2.5 million barrels last week.
August contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were down 80 cents to $75.14 per barrel in early afternoon trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while at last report Brent crude had dropped 69 cents to $74.75 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.
Nymex July gasoline futures were down 4 cents to $2.03 per gallon while July heating oil futures had fallen 5 cents to $1.97 per gallon, but August natural gas futures were up 2 cents to $4.57 per million British thermal units.
The retail price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was unchanged overnight at $2.755 per gallon on average in the United States, up 1.4 percent in the past week, as AAA predicted that 35 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home by car over the 4th of July holiday weekend.
The EIA said that while at-the-pump prices for regular unleaded gasoline in the US were lower on average last year at $2.61 per gallon, they are much lower than the average $4.11 per gallon drivers paid at the pump over the July 4 holiday in 2008.
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