BANGKOK - Oil got cheaper Wednesday ahead of a second U.S. supply report this week that could show crude stockpiles continuing to rise.
Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was down 66 cents at US$97.65 a barrel at midafternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.38 to $98.30 on Tuesday.
Oil is trading at its lowest since late June as ample supplies and a slowdown in U.S. hiring suggest subdued demand. Iran's pursuit of international dialogue to resolve the impasse over its nuclear ambitions has reduced the political risk premium that is factored into the price of crude.
The U.S. Energy Department will release crude stockpile figures for last week later Wednesday and a 3 million barrel increase is expected.
The supply report for the week ended Oct. 11 was released Monday after being delayed five days due to the government shutdown. It showed crude supplies up by 4 million barrels.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell 68 cents to $109.28 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.8 cent to $2.599 a gallon.
— Natural gas rose 1.2 cents to $3.593 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil slipped 2 cents to $2.975 a gallon.
(TSX:ECA, TSX:IMO, TSX:SU, TSX:HSE, NYSE:BP, NYSE:COP, NYSE:XOM, NYSE:CVX, TSX:CNQ, TSX:TLM, TSX:COS.UN, TSX:CVE)