Oil falls to near $82 in Asia as US crude inventories rise more than expected

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices fell to near $82 a barrel Wednesday in Asia, extending big losses from the previous day as a report showed U.S. crude supplies rose more than expected last week.

Benchmark crude for June delivery was down 46 cents to $82.28 a barrel at midday 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 fell 1.06 cents to $2.249 a gallon, and gasoline slipped 1.34 cents to $2.309 a gallon. Natural gas rose 1.3 cents to $4.026 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude was down 45 cents at $85.22 on the ICE futures exchange.