Oil falls to near $82 as US crude supplies rise

Associated Press Writer

SINGAPORE (AP) - Oil prices fell to near $82 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a report showed U.S. crude supplies rose more than expected last week.

Benchmark crude for June delivery was down 52 cents to $82.22 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The June contract fell $3.45, or 4 percent, to settle at $82.74 on Tuesday on investor fears a $144 billion bailout for Greece won't keep the debt crisis from spreading to other European countries.

U.S. crude inventories rose 3.0 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday. Analysts had expected an increase of 1.5 million barrels, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Inventories of gasoline and distillates also rose, the API said.

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration is scheduled to announce its supply report later Wednesday.

In other Nymex trading in June contracts, heating oil was steady at $2.259 a gallon, and gasoline slipped 0.27 cent to $2.319 a gallon. Natural gas rose 1.0 cent to $4.023 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude was down 40 cents at $85.27 on the ICE futures exchange.

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