BANGKOK – The price of oil fell below $95 a barrel on Wednesday as traders awaited the latest U.S. government report on energy supplies.
Benchmark oil for August delivery was down 74 cents to $94.58 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 14 cents to end at $95.32 a barrel on Tuesday
Carl Larry of Oil Outlooks and Opinions said in a commentary that he expects to see a drop in crude supplies when the U.S. Energy Department issues its weekly report on oil and gasoline supplies later in the day. The nation's supply of crude oil is near a record level, while gasoline supplies remain high because of tepid demand.
"Yes, the market seems well supplied, but that's because it's well under normal demand," Larry said.
Despite ample supplies, traders have voiced concerns about the escalating civil war in Syria, which could disrupt Middle East production and distribution, as well as the temporary closure of two major oil pipelines in Canada due to damage probably caused by heavy flooding.
Brent crude, used to set prices for oil used by many U.S. refineries to make gasoline, fell 36 cents at $100.90 a barrel.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
— Natural gas rose 0.7 cent to $3.654 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil fell 1.6 cents to $2.843 a gallon.
— Wholesale gasoline dropped 1.8 cents to $2.706 a gallon.