Petroleum futures prices fell sharply in trading Wednesday at the New York Mercantile Exchange, pressured by an American Petroleum Institute report showing a continuing rise in inventories and output.
The API weekly report, released after the close of trading Tuesday, showed a 6 million barrel increase in gasoline inventories and a 5.5 million barrel jump in heating oil stocks.
The market was further pressured by word that "the United Arab Emirates are producing 300,000 barrels over their allotted amount" under OPEC, said Richard Marose, an analyst with Geldermann Inc. in Chicago.
News that Norway plans to cut oil exports by 10% in November and December "prevented the market from slipping off sharply" mid-session, but the bearish fundametals kept prices on the downside, he said.
Crude oil dropped 39 cents to 54 cents, with the contract for delivery in October at $14.88 a barrel; heating oil was 1.05 cents to 1.99 cents lower, with October at 39.80 cents a gallon, and leaded gasoline was 1.99 cents to 2 cents lower, with October at 41.88 cents a gallon.