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Oil tanks on surge in US supply, imports

Gas is flared off at an oil well site outside Williston, N.D.
Andrew Burton I Getty Images

Oil futures plunged Wednesday on a government report showing a surge in supplies of U.S. oil and a record level of gasoline production.

The U.S. is awash in oil, with record levels of production meeting a rising tide of imports. The U.S. Department of Energy said oil stocks rose by 7.26 million barrels, while analysts had expected a decline of 1.8 million barrels.

West Texas Intermediate futures for February, already sliding, took another leg lower after the report, which also showed a 4.1 million barrel build in gasoline, more than six times the expected amount. WTI was off more than 3 percent to $55.40 per barrel, and Brent slid once more below $60 a barrel.

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