NEW YORK (AP) - Oil closed below $93 a barrel for the first time in nearly six months as the U.S. government reported the 10th straight weekly increase in crude oil supplies.
Meanwhile, the average price of gasoline is the lowest heading into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend since 2010.
Benchmark U.S. crude for January delivery fell $1.38 to close at $92.30 a barrel Wednesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The lowest previous close was $91.97 on May 31. Trading volumes were low ahead of Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.
Oil has declined from around $104 in early October due to a muted outlook for demand, high supplies and reduced tensions in the oil-rich Middle East.
The Energy Department reported that crude supplies increased by 3 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, in the week ended Nov. 22. The nation's supply of crude oil is now 391.4 million barrels, which is 4.6 percent above year-ago levels and "well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year," the report said.
At the gas pump, the average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.29, according to AAA. While that's up 8 cents from a week ago, it's still down 14 cents compared with the day before Thanksgiving last year. Two years ago as people traveled for the holiday the average was $3.33.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose 43 cents at $111.43 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London. Brent's rise was attributed to new disruptions of oil exports from Libya, a key supplier to European markets.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
- Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $2.70 a gallon.
- Heating oil was flat at $3.04 a gallon.
- Natural gas rose 3 cent to $3.90 per 1,000 cubic feet.