Oil prices drop before US inventory data
Oil prices fell slightly on Thursday as the market awaited the latest weekly snapshot of energy inventories in the United States.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October fell 42 cents to $115.38 a barrel approaching midday trade in London.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for October, dropped 21 cents to $89.13 a barrel.
Prices had risen sharply on Wednesday, closing up more than three dollars in New York, as stock markets rebounded and in the aftermath of a tropical storm which was still disrupting oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.
About 37 percent of crude production in the Gulf of Mexico -- a key oil-producing region for the United States -- was closed on Wednesday because of Tropical Storm Lee, the US Department of the Interior said.
US inventory data published later on Thursday was expected to reveal a drop in crude stockpiles owing to the shutdown, analysts said.
© 2011 AFP