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Crude oil slips back below US$94 a barrel after Wednesday's big run-up

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The price of oil edged lower Thursday, a day after recording its biggest gain of the new year.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil for February delivery slipped 21 cents to close at US$93.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after having surged $1.58 to settle at $94.17 in New York on Wednesday.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, fell 52 cents to $105.75.

The market was buoyed Wednesday by a report from the U.S. Energy Department that showed oil supplies fell by 7.7 million barrels last week, the seventh straight weekly decline. Analysts expected a more modest drop of 1.6 million barrels.

On Thursday, OPEC said in a report that it expects global demand for oil to increase by around one million barrels a day, up from an increase of 900,000 barrels a day in 2013.

But supply is also on the rise and OPEC revised up slightly its estimates for oil supplies from non-OPEC countries for both 2013 and 2014.

In other energy futures trading in New York, wholesale gasoline fell three cents to US$2.60 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), hating oil was flat at US$2.98 a gallon and natural gas rose six cents to US$4.38 per 1,000 cubic feet.


The Canadian Press

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