Crude oil prices fell on Thursday after a government report indicated an unexpected rise in U.S. oil and gasoline stocks as winter demand approaches.
The U.S. Energy Department said crude oil inventories rose to 2.81 million barrels last week to 314.7 million last week, a gain after four weeks of drops. Economists expected a drop of 750,000 barrels, according to a Bloomberg poll of analysts.
Gasoline inventories rose 714,000 barrels to 195 million. A drop of 400,000 was expected
WTI Crude futures fell $0.66, or 0.70 percent to $93.430 by 2:56 pm EST after dropping as low as $91.86 in earlier trading. London Brent crude fell $0.53, or 0.58 percent, to $90.230 as of 2:30 pm.
Meanwhile oil cartel OPEC, whose members produce more than 40 percent of the world's oil, said demand for crude oil could drop by 229,000 barrels per day in 2008, citing slowing U.S. consumption.
The organization said oil consumption in North America appears to dropping as U.S. consumers face falling housing prices, more borrowing restrictions and higher energy costs.