Oil eases but remains near $104 a barrel

The Associated Press Published:

The price of oil drifted lower Thursday, a day after hitting a one-month high.

Benchmark U.S. crude for July delivery fell 33 cents to close at $103.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, oil gained $1.74 to close at $104.07.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, slipped 19 cents to $110.36 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

The U.S. oil price hit a one-month high Wednesday after a report from the Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude oil supplies dropped 7.2 million barrels in the week ended May 16. The drop was bigger than analysts expected and due mostly to lower crude imports.

At the gas pump, the average price for a gallon of gas edged up to $3.65. That's down 2 cents from a month ago and 1 cent less than at this time last year.

In other energy future trading in New York.

-- Wholesale gasoline gained 1 cent to $3.01 a gallon.

-- Natural gas dropped 11 cents to $4.44 per 1,000 cubic feet.

-- Heating oil was flat at $2.95 a gallon.