The price of oil was little changed above $92 a barrel Friday as holidays in the U.S. thinned trading and plentiful crude stocks showed the market was well supplied.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for January delivery was up 27 cents at $92.57 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile. Crude's last settlement was Wednesday as floor trading on the Nymex was closed Thursday for Thanksgiving.
Oil has declined from about $110 in September due to reduced tensions in the oil-rich Middle East, but above all due to muted demand and high supplies.
U.S. crude production is at its highest level in almost 25 years and crude stockpiles have risen for 10 consecutive weeks.
"Due to the absence of major U.S. macroeconomic data ... crude prices are struggling to find some direction," according to a note to clients from Sucden Financial Research in London. "In addition, the bearish U.S. oil fundamentals and the recent mixed U.S. economic data currently weigh on market confidence."
Next week, the market will be awaiting news from the latest meeting in Vienna of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC, which accounts for some 40 percent of global oil production, is expected to keep its output quota of 30 million barrels a day unchanged.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was down 39 cents at $110.92 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline was down 0.44 cent at $2.690 a gallon.
— Heating oil shed 0.22 cent to $3.0408 a gallon.
— Natural gas added 2.1 cents to $3.916 per 1,000 cubic feet.