Oil prices fell below $94 a barrel Wednesday ahead of the release of supply figures expected to show an increase in crude stockpiles.
Benchmark oil for May delivery was down 30 cents to $93.90 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 84 cents to finish at $94.20 a barrel on Tuesday.
Oil investors are waiting for fresh information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products. Data for the week ending April 5 is expected to show an increase of 1.4 million barrels in crude oil stockpiles, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration releases its report Wednesday morning. Michael Hewson of CMC Markets said that "the likelihood of a rise in inventories later this week is serving to cap gains" in benchmark crude prices.
Brent crude, which sets the price of oil used by many U.S. refineries to make gasoline, rose 7 cents to $106.30 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
- Wholesale gasoline fell 1.5 cents to $2.928 per gallon.
- Natural gas rose 2 cents to $4.037 per 1,000 cubic feet.
- Heating oil was nearly unchanged at $2.961 per gallon.