Oil drifted lower on Thursday ahead of U.S. government data expected to show a further fall in crude oil supplies in the world's biggest oil consumer.

U.S. light crude for December delivery fell 15 cents to $93.94 a barrel by 7:43 a.m. EST after rising almost $3.00 in the previous session.

London Brent crude was 16 cents higher at $91.52.

Shrinking oil stocks, a weak dollar, speculative inflows, as well as political tensions, have helped drive oil prices to record highs of $98.62 a barrel, reached on November 7.

But oil is around $5 below its peak, pressured by concerns that high prices are starting to affect demand and by expectations that speculators who have helped boost prices could now step back.

On balance, $90 is probably a little too high relative to oil's fundamental basis, said Stephen Thornber, head of global energy research at UK fund manager Threadneedle Investments.

Speculators have made a lot of money and coming towards the end of the year possibly they will look to lock in their gains and unwind some of their positions.

OPEC lowered its world oil demand growth forecast for the fourth quarter of this year in its November Monthly Oil Market Report, partly due to a modest downturn in the U.S. economy.

The U.S. consumer is facing headwinds from falling house prices, restrictions on borrowing and higher energy costs, the report said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest update on U.S. oil supplies due on Thursday is forecast to show a drop of 800,000 barrels in crude stocks and a decline of 100,000 barrels in distillate inventories, including heating oil.

Top oil consumer the United States has urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase output.

But OPEC members have blamed speculation and not supply shortages for the record prices, and have confirmed they will not discuss raising crude output at a heads of state meeting on November 17-18.

Nigeria's oil minister said this would be on the agenda at OPEC's policy meeting on December 5 in Abu Dhabi.

Asked whether OPEC would raise output then, Odein Ajumogobia said: We haven't got the agenda yet but it will certainly be among the issues to be discussed at the Abu Dhabi meeting.

Prices rallied briefly after unknown attackers blew up Royal Dutch Shell's (RDSa.l: Quote, Profile, Research) crude oil pipeline at Forcados in Nigeria, a setback to the company's efforts to restore output from the Niger Delta crippled by a wave of attacks in 2006.

Shell reduced output by between 20,000 and 50,000 barrels per day as a result.

(Additional reporting by Annika Breidthardt in Singapore, editing by Anthony Barker)