Oil declined after crude inventories climbed to the highest level for November since 1930 even as explorers idled more drilling rigs.
Crude supplies rose 961,000 barrels to 488.2 million last week, according to an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. The number of active oil rigs fell to 555, the least in five years, data compiled by Baker Hughes Inc. show. Prices climbed 2.7 percent on Tuesday after Turkey shot down a Russian jet and Saudi Arabia repeated its willingness to stabilize world markets.
WTI for January delivery declined 21 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $42.66 a barrel at 1:51 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose to $42.87 on Tuesday, the highest settlement since Nov. 11. The volume of all futures traded was 15 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for January settlement fell 26 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $45.86 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a $3.20 premium to WTI.