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Oil is on the march again -- only this time it's marching a bit lower.

Crude prices fell Thursday, following a surge Wednesday afternoon on news that oil inventories fell last week.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery gained 56 cents on Wednesday to settle at $71.03 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The move up had come after three straight days of declines. The price is currently at $70.86 during electronic trading, down 17 cents.

On Wednesday morning, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that crude stocks fell by 3.9 million barrels for the week ended June 12. Analysts had expected a much lighter draw down. But adding to the mix was news that gasoline inventories swelled by a more-than-expected 3.4 million barrels.

It was also reported that militants destroyed a crude pipeline operated by

Royal Dutch Shell


in the Niger Delta.

Most of big oil finished in the red on Wednesday.

Exxon Mobil

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slipped 21 cents to $71.42 by the closing bell.

XTO Energy



Anadarko Petroleum

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dropped 3.1% and 1.2%, respectively.


Amex Oil Index


lost 1.8% on Wednesday.

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