Oil Falls as US Oil Supplies Rise by 3.5M Barrels


The price of oil slipped Wednesday, as a government report showed U.S. oil supplies rose more than expected last week.

U.S. crude for May delivery fell 31 cents to close at $101.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, the Nymex contract fell $1.90 a barrel.

Brent crude, an international benchmark for oil, fell 16 cents to $109.11 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

The U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration said oil supplies rose 3.5 million barrels in the week ended April 18. That exceeded the expectations of analysts surveyed by Platts, who forecast an increase of 3.1 million barrels. At a record 397.7 million barrels, supplies are now 2.3 percent above year-ago levels.

Lending some support to prices were continued tensions in Ukraine – where the acting president ordered security forces to resume operations in the country’s east against pro-Russian insurgents demanding closer ties with Russia – and Libya’s inability to normalize its oil exports.

In the U.S., the average price for a gallon of gasoline remains at $3.67. That’s up 14 cents from a month ago and 15 cents higher than at this time last year.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

– Wholesale gasoline was flat at $3.09 a gallon.

– Heating oil fell 2 cents to $2.98 a gallon.

– Natural gas slipped 1 cent to $4.73 per 1,000 cubic feet.