RTTNews - Crude oil inventories rose sharply in the recent week, according to data released Wednesday morning by the Energy Information Administration. The build was larger than the expectation of analysts and bigger than the one shown by an industry survey yesterday.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 5.1 million barrels during the week ended July 24. Experts were looking for a build of about 1.1 million barrels. At 347.8 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year.

Crude oil prices plunged on the NYMEX following the report. Light sweet crude for September fell to $63.94, down $3.29 on the session. Prices touched as low as $63.90 after challenging $69 earlier this week.

Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 2.3 million barrels last week. Economists were looking for a drop of about 1.1 million barrels. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components decreased last week.

Distillate fuel inventories increased by 2.1 million barrels, and are above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year. Experts were forecasting an increase of about 1 million barrels.

Propane/propylene inventories increased by 2.0 million barrels last week. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 5.5 million barrels last week.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the American Petroleum Institute reported crude oil inventories increased by about 4.1 million barrels to 352.4 million in the week ended July 24. The API report is not as closely watched as the EIA data because participation in the API survey is voluntary.

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