BANGKOK – Oil steadied above $94 a barrel Monday after falling more than 7 percent in the past month on ample supplies and muted demand.
Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was up 8 cents at $94.69 at early afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $1.77 to a four-month low of $94.61 on Friday.
Ample supplies of crude have weighed on the price in recent weeks. The Energy Department said Wednesday that U.S. supplies increased 4.1 million barrels in the previous week. Over five weeks, supplies rose by more than 25 million barrels.
U.S. refineries are undergoing fall maintenance, which has crimped demand for crude.
"We are now at the nadir of the fall refinery maintenance season. Within the next couple of weeks demand will return to the market. To this effect, the return of refinery demand could help support values at current levels," Schork Report analysts said in an energy markets commentary.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international crude also used by U.S. refineries, was up 44 cents at $106.35 on the ICE futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline inched up 0.2 cent to $2.548 a gallon.
— Heating oil rose 0.7 cent to $2.889 a gallon.
— Natural gas shed 8.3 cents to $3.43 per 1,000 cubic feet.