Oil prices are slightly lower Thursday as investors focus on global economic issues, including the so-called "fiscal cliff" in the U.S.
Crude oil lost 42 cents at $85.90 in midday trading in New York.
Expiring tax cuts and broad spending cuts will take effect in January unless the White House and Congress make a deal. Economists worry that no deal would have a serious impact on the economy. Slower economic growth means less demand for fuels such as gasoline, heating oil and natural gas.
The Energy Information Administration says crude oil supplies grew less than analysts expected last week. Gasoline supplies shrank. Analysts had expected gasoline supplies to stay the same.
AAA says the average gasoline prices at the pump fell slightly to $3.438 per gallon from the day before.