Oil futures erased gains Thursday after the Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude inventories rose 2.1 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 12. Analysts surveyed by oil-data firm Platts had forecast a rise of 3.3 million barrels. The EIA said gasoline inventories rose by 3 millin barrels last week while distillate inventories rose 1.4 million barrels. The Platts survey found expectations for a 1 million barrel fall in gasoline stocks and a 1.8 million barrel decline in distillate stocks. March crude oil futures were up just 1 cent at $30.67 a barrel following the data, after trading as high as $31.98 in earlier activity.
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