By Chris Kahn Associated Press
Oil prices fell Thursday after the government reported that the nation’s crude supplies grew unexpectedly last week.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell by 36 cents to $99 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price foreign oil varieties that are imported by U.S. refineries, fell by 31 cents to $107.25 per barrel in London.
The Energy Information Administration said U.S. oil supplies rose by 3.9 million barrels last week. Analysts expected supplies to shrink. The rise in oil supplies underscores a declining demand for gasoline and other petroleum products in the U.S. Oil demand in the U.S. has dropped by 7.8 percent from the same time last year, and gasoline demand has declined by 5.6 percent, EIA said.
At the pump, retail gasoline prices rose by about a penny to a national average of $3.254 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. A gallon of regular is about 4 cents cheaper than a month ago, but it’s still more than 19 cents higher than the same time last year.
In other energy trading, heating oil rose 1.33 cents to $2.9145 per gallon, and gasoline futures were flat at $2.6535 per gallon. Natural gas futures fell by 9.8 cents to $3.023 per 1,000 cubic feet.