Crude oil prices settled under $97 per barrel Tuesday despite concern for diminishing supplies from the Middle East and the North Sea.
With the business embargo against Iran cutting into that nation's oil exports, news that the Buzzard oil field in the North Sea would be offline for maintenance has taken on heightened importance.
Energy prices rose early on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but advances faded after an early surge.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil for September delivery hit $97.51 per barrel early, but closed at $96.84. Natural gas gained 3.9 cents to $2.814 per million British thermal units.
Home heating oil gained 3.2 cents to $3.1275.
Reformulated blendstock gasoline lost 6.7 cents to $3.0585 a gallon.
At the pump, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.717 per gallon Tuesday, down from Monday's $3.72, AAA reported.