U.S. gasoline supplies fell last week for the third straight time as imports dropped below 1 million barrels per day and production dipped slightly, the Energy Department said Wednesday.
Stockpiles of the motor fuel fell by 5.7 million barrels, or nearly 3 percent, to 196.2 million barrels for the week ending Aug. 17, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report. Gasoline inventories were 6.5 percent below year-ago levels.
Imports of gasoline fell to an average of 927,000 barrels per day, down 286,000 barrels per day from a week earlier.
U.S. refineries lowered their production, running at 91.6 percent of their total production capacity on average, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous week. Crude oil inventories rose by 1.9 million barrels to 337.1 million barrels.
The report also showed that stocks of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 1.3 million barrels to 129 million barrels.
At the pump, gas prices rose less than a penny overnight to a national average of $2.78 a gallon for regular-grade gasoline, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Retail gas prices are down from a May 24 peak of $3.23 per gallon.The price of light, sweet crude for October delivery fell 12 cents to $69.45 per barrel in Wednesday morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange