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Markets & Stocks

Crude supplies up, heating oil down
U.S. crude inventory up by more than 4M barrels, but distillate slides as winter draws closer.
October 14, 2004: 10:52 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The supply of crude oil in the United States rose by more than 4 million barrels last week, the government reported Thursday, but heating oil inventories fell as the northern parts of the country approach winter.

The stockpile of crude in the United States rose to 278.2 million barrels from 274 million the previous week, a 1.5 percent increase.

Inventories of distillate, the fuel used to make heating oil, dropped to 120.9 million barrels from 123.4 million the previous week.

Analysts expected distillate stocks in the world's biggest energy consumer to fall by 1.1 million barrels and crude stock to rise by 1.7 million barrels, according to Reuters.

Heating oil futures in New York hit a record $1.52 a gallon Thursday following the report, after reaching the $1.50 a gallon mark Wednesday.

Following the report, U.S. light crude for December delivery rose by 31 cents to $53.95 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil prices have soared over the recent months as any disruption to the tight market pushes prices higher. OPEC said Thursday that it believes oil prices will continue to rise through the end of the month due to strong demand.

Compounding the supply crunch is that U.S. oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is still running at about 72 percent of its normal rate of 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) after pipeline and platform damage by Hurricane Ivan, the U.S. Minerals Management Service said Wednesday.  Top of page

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