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US crude oil supplies fell by 1 million barrels

NEW YORK (AP) -- The nation's crude oil supplies decreased last week, the government said Wednesday.

Crude supplies fell by 1 million barrels, or 0.3 percent, to 360.3 million barrels, which is 8.8 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

Analysts expected an increase of 2.5 million barrels for the week ended Jan. 11, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Gasoline supplies grew by 1.9 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, to 235 million barrels. That's 3.3 percent more than year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to rise by 3 million barrels.

Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Jan. 11 was 0.6 percent less than a year earlier, averaging 8.4 million barrels a day.

U.S. refineries ran at 87.9 percent of total capacity on average, down 1.2 percentage points from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to fall to 89 percent.

Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 1.7 million barrels to 132.4 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to increase by 1.6 million barrels.

Benchmark crude rose 54 cents to $93.82 a barrel in New York.

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