Oil prices fell back on Wednesday from a record of $100.10 a barrel on speculation U.S. crude stockpiles will rise.
Analysts forecast the weekly report from the Energy Information administration will show crude inventories rose from 2.3 to 2.4 million barrels the previous week. An increase in gasoline, diesel and heating oil stocks is also expected.
The report will be delayed until Thursday due to the President's Day holiday on Monday. According to specialists, inventories usually rise in this time of the year while refineries lower production to work on repairs, Bloomberg noted.
Crude oil for March delivery fell on Wednesday by 48 cents, or 0.48 percent to $99.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:36 a.m. Yesterday, prices climbed as high as $100.10 a barrel for the second time this year, after a previous record of $100.09 reached on January 3. March crude futures contract expire today.
Last week, the U.S. inventories report showed crude oil supplies rose 1.1 million barrels for the week ended February 8.
Oil prices rose to records highs on Tuesday on speculation the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut output at its meeting on March 5. Gains were also sustained as Venezuela's dispute with Exxon Mobil continues and threats of militant attacks in Nigeria raised concern about disrupted in exports of petroleum to the United States.
Venezuela stopped sending crude shipments to Exxon Mobil Corp. last week. In Nigeria, a rebel group threatened that it could increase attacks on the nation's crude oil infrastructure. Exports from Nigeria have diminished 20 percent since the rebel attacks surged. The country is the top oil exporting nation in Africa.
Another factor affecting yesterday's record rise was an explosion in a crude refinery in Texas on Monday.
On Wednesday Brent crude fell $1.49 or 1.51 percent to $97.25 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Exchange.