Crude prices slipped Thursday from early highs, as traders weighed &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/comp/2002/09/24/37132.html ' target=_blank>OPEC's forecast of rising global demand against concerns about production cuts and violence in the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/98/386/14315_Berglin.html' target=_blank>Middle East.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery was down 18 cents at $48.15 a barrel in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after hitting $48.65 earlier in the day. On Wednesday, crude had risen more than $1 a barrel.
"Trees don't grow to the skies prices take a breather now and then," said Fadel Gheit, senior oil analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, says ABC News.
According to the CBS News, heating oil was down 0.70 cent at $1.3350 a gallon. Brent crude was up 26 cents at $46.41 on the International Petroleum Exchange.
In its monthly report Wednesday, OPEC predicted an increase in daily demand of 83.8 million barrels, 5 percent more than the group estimated last month. Oil prices have been inching upward for more than a week on worries that OPEC, which controls 40 percent of world oil exports, might cut production at its March 16 meeting in Isfahan, Iran.
Europe and Russia could come to an agreement on many issues if it had not been for such issues as Ukraine and Crimea.