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Oil Prices Rise After U.S. Supply Report

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices are higher Wednesday following government reports that U.S. supplies didn’t grow as much as expected last week.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 25 cents to $98.65 per barrel. Brent crude rose 41 cents to $116.64 per barrel in London.

The Energy Information Administration reported that oil supplies increased by 300,000 barrels last week, much less than the increase of 2.25 million barrels that analysts expected.

Analysts were betting that refineries would continue to replenish stockpiles as they usually do in the first few months of the year. But last week they also cut back on imports as oil and gasoline demand dropped.

Retail gasoline prices were essentially unchanged at a national average of $3.48 per gallon.

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