Crude inventories shrink

U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell for the second consecutive week, adding support to prices that surged on reports that OPEC nations had agreed to cut production.

Commercial inventories of crude fell about 900,000 barrels last week, after declining by about 1.3 million barrels the previous week, according to the Energy Department. Gasoline inventories, however, climbed  by 2.1 million barrels last week. Commercial inventories of all petroleum products rose by about 500,000 barrels.

Demand remains strong.  Americans consumed about 19.8 million barrels per day of petroleum over the past four weeks, up 1 percent from a year ago. U.S. Drivers averaged 9.2 million gallons a day, up slightly from a year earlier.

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