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Dec. 30, 2020, 10:46 a.m. EST

Oil remains higher after larger-than-expected fall in crude inventories

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By William Watts

Oil futures remained higher in a choppy trading session Wednesday, after the Energy Information Administration reported a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. The EIA said crude stocks dropped by 6.1 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 25. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts, on average, had looked for crude stocks to fall by 3.8 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, on Tuesday had reportedly saw a 4.8 million barrel drop. The EIA said gasoline inventories fell by 1.2 million barrels, while distillate inventories rose 3.1 million barrels. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts had expected gasoline inventories to show a rise of 2.3 million barrels and distillate stocks to rise by 1.3 million barrels. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery was up 34 cents, or 0.7%, at $48.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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