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Gasoline, distillate inventories up more than expected

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by Elaine Frei

Inventories of gasoline, heating oil, and diesel fuel were up in the week ending January 5, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Crude oil stockpiles were down by 5 million barrels in the week but still remains at the high end of average. Gasoline inventories were 3.8 million barrels higher in the week while distillate stockpiles, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, added 5.4 million barrels last week. Analysts had expected only a gain of 2.5 million barrels for gasoline and an additional 1.9 million barrels for distillates during the week.

Brent crude for February delivery dropped $1.03 to $54.15 per barrel in London, while West Texas Intermediate crude February contracts fell $1.12 to $54.52 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after falling to $53.89 earlier in the session. Some energy analysts are now saying that the drop in crude oil prices should have been expected and were calling recent prices in the $60 to $70 per barrel range “an aberration”, citing historically lower prices.

Nymex gasoline was down 2.36 cents to $1.4460 per gallon, while the price of heating oil dropped 2 cents to $1.5360 per gallon. The price of natural gas was higher, however, adding around 1 cent to $6.75 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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News posted: January 10, 2007

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