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U.S. Crude Oil Supplies Dropped Last Week, API Report Shows

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil inventories fell 7.34 million barrels last week to 349.3 million, the American Petroleum Institute said today.

Gasoline inventories gained 4.8 million barrels to 220 million, the report showed.

The Energy Department is scheduled to release its inventory report tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.

Analysts expect the government report to show stockpiles of crude oil declined over the period. Supplies probably dropped 1.4 million barrels, according to the median of 16 responses in a Bloomberg News survey. Gasoline inventories slipped 300,000 barrels, the survey showed.

Oil-supply totals from the API and DOE have moved in the same direction 75 percent of the time over the past four years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

API collects stockpile information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines. The government requires that reports be filed with the Energy Department for its weekly survey.

Oil for January delivery fell $1.04, or 1.2 percent, to $88.34 a barrel at 4:31 p.m. in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $88.19 before release of the report at 4:30 p.m.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Shenk in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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