The energy commodity fell after the U.S. Department of Energy indicated inventories of crude oil rose last week to their highest level in 90 days. But demand for fuel fell 8.3 percent to 17.7 million barrels per day, the lowest since 1999. Oil-rich Iran, which is under export sanctions due to its nuclear program, is in discussions with the United Nations, which pulled down tensions.
"The market is looking heavy because supplies are rising and demand is very weak," analyst Phil Flynn with PFGBest in Chicago told Bloomberg. "A major reason for the recent rise in prices was concern about Iran. The hyperbole about the Iranian situation has calmed down."
At 2:04 p.m. on Thursday, crude oil futures gained 0.06 percent, a 7 cent climb to $111.63 per barrel.
Despite the discussions between the UN and Iran, The Wall Street Journal reports analysts said refiners were preparing to capitalize on alternatives as sanctions remain in place and in some cases become more stringent.
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