Oil falls below US$104 a barrel

By Pamela Sampson, AP

BANGKOK–Oil prices on Thursday shed some of the prior day’s gains after a report showed a bump upward in U.S. crude inventories.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was down 38 cents to US$103.69 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

A report from the American Petroleum Institute showed an increase in oil supplies for the week ending Sept. 27. Stocks rose by 356,000 barrels to 363.7 million barrels from the prior week, suggesting a weakening in demand.

The price of oil rose the most in two weeks Wednesday, on the prospect of more oil shipping between a key U.S. Midwest hub and the Gulf Coast. The contract jumped US$2.06, or 2 percent, to close at US$104.10 on the Nymex on Wednesday.

Reports said that Transcanada is close to completing work on the southern portion of its Keystone pipeline expansion. That could mean as much as 700,000 barrels a day moving out of Cushing, Oklahoma.

Brent crude, a benchmark used to price imported crude used by many U.S. refineries, fell 14 cents to US$109.05 in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to US$2.638 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 1.7 cent to US$3.559 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil rose 0.5 cent to US$2.998 per gallon.