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Oil Prices Dip on Fuel Supply Build

Crude oil supplies dropped by 2.8 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.
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) -- Oil futures slipped Wednesday despite a steeper-than-expected drawdown in crude inventories and as fuel stockpiles saw buildups that outpaced expectations.

Crude oil supplies dropped by 2.8 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday, far exceeding estimates from Platts calling for a 1.2 million barrel drawdown.

However, gasoline inventories, which were expected to fall by 870,000, instead rose by 700,000 barrels during the week and distillate fuel stockpiles also grew by 2.2 million barrels, though projections were for a lighter 1.16 million barrel build.

The September delivery crude oil contract on the Nymex, which struggled both ahead of and immediately after the report, eventually settled the session down by 8 cents, or 0.1%, at $82.47 a barrel. The contract hit an intraday high of $82.97 a barrel but also fell as low as $81.62 a barrel. The September heating oil contract closed just 0.1% above its previous close at $2.20 a gallon and the September gasoline contract shed nearly 2 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $2.18 a gallon.

Among equity names, the NYSE Arca Oil index advanced 0.7%, getting its biggest boost from a 4.3% surge in shares of

Anadarko Petroleum

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Anadarko continued to bask in its late Tuesday earnings release, in which the company upped its production outlook for the year.


(SUN) - Get Sunoco LP representing limited partner interests Report

shares improved 3.5% Wednesday although

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Exxon Mobil

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added mild gains of 0.02% and 0.5%, respectively.

The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index jumped 1.5%.

Despite news that


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oil spill cleanup effort has swept up some three-fourths of the leaking oil in the Gulf of Mexico, and news that its plan to plug the leaking well using drilling mud has been successful, the company's stock lost 61 cents, or 1.5%, to $39.39.

The September natural gas contract, meanwhile, added nearly 10 cents, or 2.1%, to settle at $4.74 per million British thermal units. The EIA is scheduled to release last week's natural gas storage statistics on Thursday morning. Analysts polled by Platts expect stocks to rise 32 to 36 billion cubic feet.

--Written by Sung Moss and Melinda Peer in New York