U.S. crude oil inventories dropped for the third consecutive week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.
After dropping by 4 million barrels and 6.7 million barrels in the previous two weeks, oil inventories dropped by another 7.3 million barrels in the week ending Friday.
Crude oil supplies fell to 339 million barrels. However, supplies remain above the upper limit for the average range for this time of year, the EIA said.
Supplies of distillate fuels rose by 900,000 barrels to 157.6 million barrels, while gasoline inventories rose by 3.3 million barrels to 214.1 million barrels.
Gasoline stockpiles are in the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, the agency said.
Inventories of finished gasoline decreased, while blending component supplies rose, the agency said.
The EIA said the national average price of regular gasoline fell in the week by 6 cents to $3.601 per gallon on Sept. 19, which put the price of gasoline 87.3 cents above the price during the same week of 2010.