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Crude Oil Futures Edge to the Upside

Gold falls, and the dollar is mostly stronger.
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.)

Energy futures were generally higher Thursday, but as the session wound down buying momentum showed signs of fading.

Recently, West Texas crude for November delivery was up $1.15 at $106.88 a barrel, and Brent crude was up $1.62 to $104.07. Reformulated gasoline was better by 5 cents at $2.65 a gallon.

Natural gas tacked on 2 cents to $7.70 per million British thermal units. Earlier, the Energy Department said natural gas inventories rose by 51 billion cubic feet last week to 3.02 trillion feet, a move that was roughly in line with the expected build.

Meanwhile, reports emerged that Congress will let a longstanding ban on offshore drilling expire later this month. The ban affects parts of the shoreline on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

On the corporate side,

Occidental Petroleum

(OXY) - Get Occidental Petroleum Corporation Report

said it would pay

Plains Exploration

(PXP)

$1.25 billion for the 50% stake it doesn't currently own in two oil and gas fields. The properties are located in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico and the Piceance Basin of Colorado. Shares of Occidental were up 1.4, while Plains rose 3.2%.

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Among stocks,

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report

,

Chevron

(CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report

and

ConocoPhillips

(COP) - Get ConocoPhillips Report

gained more than 2.5%. The

U.S. Oil

(USO) - Get United States Oil Fund LP Report

ETF was better by 1.6%.

Turning to precious metals, both gold and silver were trading slightly lower. In the foreign exchange market, the dollar was stronger against most of its major competitors, with the exception of the Canadian dollar.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.