NEW YORK, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices fell Wednesday as U.S. crude inventories climbed more than expected last week.
U.S. Crude inventories gained 6.2 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration report Wednesday, beating market expectation of 2 million barrels.
Gasoline supplies dropped 5.23 million barrels. Refinery operations slipped to 86 percent of capacity, the least since October.
Analysts believed that the bigger-than-expected build in crude stockpiles is bearish to the market.
World oil demand growth for 2013 was revised up by 70 thousand barrels per day (tb/d) to stand at 1.05 million barrels per day ( mb/d), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its monthly report Wednesday.
Global oil demand in 2014 is forecast to rise by 1.14 mb/d, following an upward revision of 50 tb/d from February's report.
However, a lingering concern over Ukraine continued to support the Brent crude price.
Western countries threatened to further sanctions on Russia, after the parliament of the autonomous republic of Crimea on Tuesday adopted a declaration of independence from Ukraine, which specifies that Crimea will become independent if its residents vote in favor of splitting from Kiev to join Moscow in Sunday's referendum.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery moved down 2.04 dollars to settle at 97.99 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for April delivery lost 53 cents to close at 108.02 dollars a barrel.