Crude-oil futures were higher in trading yesterday after Department of Energy figures confirmed a steep decline in U.S. supplies due to a drop-off in imports.
Inventory levels are at their lowest since January, when prices for crude oil were significantly higher, said Tim Evans, an energy analyst with IFR Pegasus. Prices topped out at $34 a barrel in March, a nine-year high.
September crude climbed 47 cents to $28.26 a barrel yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
After the close of regular trading Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude oil supplies had plummeted by 9 million barrels, to 284 million barrels, from the previous week. There were 326 million barrels at this time last year.