RTTNews - Crude oil inventories dropped more than expected in the recent week, according to Energy Department data released on Wednesday. Gasoline inventories were higher in the period.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 3.8 million barrels in the week ended June 19. Experts were looking for a drop of 1.2 million barrels. At 353.9 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year.

Motor gasoline inventories increased by 3.9 million barrels last week, and are in the lower half of the average range. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 2.1 million barrels and propane/propylene inventories increased by 3.6 million barrels.

Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline demand has averaged nearly 9.2 million barrels per day, up by 0.4 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel demand fell 9.3 percent and jet fuel demand was 13.9 percent lower.

Crude oil prices for August delivery have erased early losses and are up 27 cents to $69.51 per barrel.

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