Heating oil futures advanced after a report that stockpiles of distillate fuels fell last week.
Prices gained as much as 2.2 percent after the Energy Department reported that U.S. supplies of distillates, including heating oil and diesel, dropped 2.53 million barrels to 139.1 million. Stockpiles had been estimated to fall 750,000 barrels, the median of 12 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
“The export market for oil products remains strong,” said Kyle Cooper, director of research at IAF Advisors in Houston. “Production remains high and demand has tapered off, so exports are the underlying support.”
January-delivery heating oil gained 3.77 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $2.8871 a gallon as of 11:07 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, extending the gain this year to 14 percent.
Gasoline for January delivery rose 1.51 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $2.5938 a gallon on the Nymex. Gasoline stockpiles decreased 412,000 barrels to 218.4 million. The futures are up 5.7 percent this year after gaining 20 percent last year and doubling in 2009.
Oil gained $1.01 to $98.25 a barrel on the exchange, and touched $99.25 after the department reported an inventory decline of 10.6 million barrels to 323.6 million last week.
Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.7 cent to $3.206 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA data. Prices, which are the lowest since Feb. 22, are 7.5 percent higher than a year earlier.
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