The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.9 million barrels for the week ended March 19. Supplies had climbed in each of the previous four weeks. On average, analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast a climb of 1.7 million barrels for crude stocks. The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a 2.9 million-barrel increase, according to sources. The EIA data also showed crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub declined by 1.9 million barrels for the week. The EIA also reported that gasoline supply was up by 200,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles climbed by 3.8 million barrels for the week. The S&P Global Platts survey had forecast supply increases of 900,000 barrels for gasoline and 200,000 barrels for distillate inventories. Oil prices pared some of their gains from the blockage of the key oil shipping waterway at the Suez Canal following the supply data. May West Texas Intermediate crude was up $1.59 cents, or 2.8%, at $59.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were at $59.71 before the supply data.
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