Oil below $93 ahead of US crude inventory data

AP News
Posted: May 30, 2013 6:26 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil fell Thursday as traders awaited the latest U.S. crude inventories data.

Benchmark oil for July delivery was down 56 cents to $92.57 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.88 to close at $93.13 a barrel on Wednesday, hit by concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve may ease up on its stimulus measures and that the Wall Street rally was cooling.

Later Thursday, the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration will release its latest figures on U.S. stockpiles of crude. Data for the week ending May 24 is expected to show a decline of 1.5 million barrels in crude oil stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

On Friday, meanwhile, ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet in Vienna to discuss, among other things, production levels. But more complex issues also face OPEC, including the rise of shale oil production in the U.S. The Paris-based International Energy Agency says total production could top 9 million barrels a day by 2018, which would mean near self-sufficiency for the U.S. as well as significantly less dependence on OPEC imports.

Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oil varieties, fell 63 cents to $101.80 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline dropped 2.3 cents to $2.775 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 2.4 cents to $2.841 per gallon.

— Natural gas shed 1.7 cents to $4.167 per 1,000 cubic feet.