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Oil drops 1 percent on rise in gasoline supply

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil fell more than 1 percent Wednesday after government data showed that demand for gasoline fell last week to the lowest level in a year.

Benchmark U.S. oil for February delivery fell $1.34, or 1.4 percent, to close at $92.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Energy Department said supplies of gasoline rose by 6.2 million barrels last week, a jump of nearly 3 percent. Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill, said the data indicated that demand for gasoline was the lowest since the same week last year. Analysts surveyed by Platts had expected gasoline supplies to rise by 2 million barrels.

At the gas pump, the average price for a gallon of gasoline remained at $3.31. That's up 5 cents from a month ago and a penny higher than at this time last year.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, fell 20 cents to $107.15 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading:

_ Wholesale gasoline dropped 2 cents to $2.66 a gallon.

_ Natural gas fell 8 cents to $4.22 per 1,000 cubic feet.

_ Heating oil slipped 1 cent to $2.95 a gallon.

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