Oil rises slightly on unrest in the Middle East


Associated Press

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 12 at 9:00 AM

The price of oil is falling as worries about unrest in the Middle East are offset by new predictions of declining demand.

Benchmark oil 41 cents Friday to $91.66 per barrel in New York.

Oil prices have been rising as tensions between Syria and Turkey increase, with cross-border shelling from Syria's civil war potentially threatening a crucial supply route.

That is being tempered by a new International Energy Agency report that predicts slower growth in demand for oil in 2012 and over the next five years as supplies increase.

Concerns about slower global economic growth have caused demand to fall for oil and other energy products. Europe still is working to resolve its debt crisis, and economies in the U.S. and China have slowed.

At the pump, the national average price for gasoline fell less than a penny overnight to $3.81 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service. That's about 5 cents less than a month ago and nearly 41 cents higher than a year ago.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, fell $1.34 to $113.34 on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

In other energy trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

— Heating oil declined 4 cents to $3.21 per gallon.

— Wholesale gasoline dropped 8 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $2.87 per gallon.

— Natural gas fell 3 cents to $3.58 per 1,000 cubic feet.