Oil near $94 as traders eye supply data

Oil rises near $94 a barrel; latest data on US supplies awaited, rise expected

Associated Press

Oil rose near $94 a barrel Wednesday, a day after falling to a five-month low.

Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery gained 84 cents to close $93.88 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That followed Tuesday's drop of $2.10 a barrel, which was the sharpest one-day decline since Sept. 10.

Oil is still down $8.53, or 8.3 percent, in the past month. Traders say further declines are likely. Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note to clients that while oil could push back above $95, he expects it to decline to around $87-$88 at some point.

Traders are waiting for the latest data on U.S. crude stocks. Data for the week ended Nov. 8, due Thursday, are expected to show an increase in crude oil stocks of 1.8 million barrels, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos. That would mark the eighth straight weekly increase.

Meanwhile, Brent crude, the international benchmark, added $1.31 to $107.12 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.

Brent's advance was attributed mostly to continued unrest in Libya, were protests, strikes and production snags have prevented the country's oil industry — a key supplier to Europe — from stabilizing production anywhere near levels before the eight-month civil war in 2011.

In the U.S., the average price for a gallon of gasoline rose 1 cent to $3.19 a gallon. That's still down 15 cents from a month ago and 25 cents cheaper than at this time last year.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline added 4 cents to $2.63 a gallon.

— Heating oil rose 4 cents to $2.90 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 1 cent per 1,000 cubic feet to $3.57.

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Esam Mohamed in Tripoli, Libya, contributed to this report.

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