Crude oil prices followed the recent downward trend in New York, dropping to $102.55 Wednesday morning after oil producers said demand was evening out.
A report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said China's economy "is roaring ahead of all expectations," which has kept demand even despite slower demand in developed markets, where higher prices are giving consumers pause, The Wall Street Journal reported.
OPEC now pegs demand for 2011 at 1.41 million barrels per day. China, meanwhile, is balancing out demand shaken by a sputtering recovery in the United States and the earthquake-related industrial slowdown in Japan.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil lost $1.33 to $102.55 per barrel.
Home heating oil added 0.03 cents to $3.0015 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices shed 11.92 cents to $3.2605 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices added 0.6 cents to $4.26 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline rose to $3.962 per gallon from Tuesday's $3.951, AAA said.