Oil Stockpiles Fall and Product Inventories Increase, API Says

Crude oil inventories declined 4.43 million barrels to 334.5 million last week, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Distillate fuel inventories rose 5.25 million barrels to 145.4 million, the API’s weekly report showed. The gain was the largest since July 2008. Gasoline stockpiles rose 3.38 million to 219.1 million.

Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, rose 200,000 barrels to 29.3 million.

The Energy Department is scheduled to release its inventory report at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Washington, a day later than usual because of the New Year’s Day holiday.

The government report may show stockpiles of crude oil fell 1 million barrels last week, according to the median of 13 responses in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts. Gasoline inventories probably gained 1 million barrels, the survey showed. Distillates were also expected to grow by 1 million.

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.

Crude oil for February delivery rose 51 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $103.47 a barrel at 4:33 p.m. in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract, which settled at $103.22, traded at $103.51 before the report was released at 4:30 p.m.

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