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May 9, 2007 4:30 PM, EDT

Oil Falls as Inventories Rise

Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News

Crude oil futures prices fell to their lowest level in seven weeks Wednesday following an Energy Department report that showed inventories rose last week.

Benchmark light sweet crude oil futures fell to as low as $60.68 a barrel, the lowest since March 22, before gaining some ground back to close at $61.55 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 71 cents from Tuesday, Bloomberg reported.

Crude oil supplies rose 5.5 million barrels last week, well above the 1 million barrel gain predicted by economists, Bloomberg said.

Gasoline stockpiles rose 372,000 barrels, more than double expectations, while distillate inventories, which include diesel, gained 1.6 million barrels, DOE said.