Updated from 11:42 a.m. EDT
Crude futures fell again Tuesday as traders focused on a midweek inventory report that is expected to show higher crude and a seventh consecutive draw in gasoline stocks.
The September crude contract closed down 19 cents to $66.08 a barrel on Nymex. Gasoline futures rose 1 cent to $1.97 a gallon.
The Energy Department is scheduled to release its weekly inventory report on Wednesday. It is expected to show crude inventories rose by 1 million barrels and gasoline inventories dropped by 1.3 million barrels.
On Monday, oil retreated from a weeklong surge as concerns over high energy prices' potential dampening affect on economic growth loomed.
Fresh consumer price data reinforced the trend Tuesday. Consumer prices rose by a higher-than-expected 0.5% in July, reflecting soaring energy prices. According to the government report, energy prices increased 3.8% in July, up from a 0.5% decline in June. Gasoline prices spiked 6.1% in the same time period.
The core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy items, rose by 0.1%.
The current front-month oil contract touched $67 a barrel last week, the highest since the Iranian revolution in 1982, when, according to various inflation-adjusted estimates, oil reached $82 a barrel.
More than 20 years later, Iran still poses a threat to oil prices and supply stability. It recently restarted a nuclear production plant that was sealed off by the U.N., defying opposition from the European Union, and nominated a new oil minister that vowed to change the business structure of the country's oil industry.
In company news, two companies have reportedly made separate offers to buy
( PKZ), an integrated oil company headquartered in Canada. PetroKazakhstan, which didn't identify the suitors, said it is reviewing the proposals. Its shares rose 1.2% to $45.80.
was raised to a buy from hold by A.G Edwards. Analyst Tom Covington said that the $3.8 billion divestiture of its North Sea assets will improve Kerr-McGee's balance sheet faster than anticipated.
Enterra Energy Trust
plunged 9% Tuesday after it said its second-quarter earnings dropped 48% to $2 million, or 8 cents per unit. Natural gas sales in the quarter dropped 23% from last year. Results were negatively affected by "temporary operational issues" and higher costs due to the acquisition of High Point Resources.
The Amex Oil Index dropped 1.2%.
( RD) fell 0.8% and
The Philadelphia Oil Service Index was down 1.3%, led by a 1.9% decline at
( BJS) and at