Oil falls to below $90 amid mixed US supply report

September 14, 2011 - 7:55 AM

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices fell to below $90 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a U.S. crude supply report showed mixed signs about consumer demand.

Benchmark oil for October delivery was down 54 cents to $89.67 at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude added $2.02 to settle at $90.21 on Tuesday.

In London, Brent crude for October delivery was down 40 cents at $111.49 on the ICE Futures exchange.

The American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday that crude inventories fell 5.1 million barrels last week while analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos., had predicted a drop of 2.9 million barrels. The large drop was likely due to disruptions of crude operations caused by Tropical Storm Lee, analysts said.

However, inventories of gasoline rose 2.8 million barrels last week while distillates increased 67,000 barrels, the API said.

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reports its weekly supply data later Wednesday.

Oil prices jumped Tuesday to the highest in a month, up from $76 on Aug. 9, despite investor concerns about Europe's debt crisis and slowing global economic growth. Some analysts expect prices will drift back down toward $80 if they can't break through the $90 level.

"A test of last month's lows will still be seen with euro zone debt issues providing the primary catalyst," Ritterbusch and Associates said in a report.

In other Nymex trading for October contracts, heating oil rose 0.8 cent at $2.94 per gallon and gasoline futures dropped 0.8 cents at $2.73 per gallon. Natural gas for October delivery rose 1.6 cents to $4.00 per 1,000 cubic feet.