Updated from 2:43 p.m. EDT
Crude oil prices closed lower Tuesday, after a 2% decline Monday, with the benchmark U.S. moving further away from the $55-a-barrel level.
The November futures contract lost 38 cents to $53.29 in regular floor trading on the Nymex, although it had been down about one dollar in the premarket, despite word of another attack on an oil pipeline in Iraq. Tomorrow is the last day of trading for the November contract.
Prior to Monday, prices had closed at record highs in eight of the past nine sessions, briefly surpassing $55 a barrel, as traders continued to worry about short-term supply in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, which disrupted U.S. production in the Gulf of Mexico.
Monday's selloff came on word OPEC produced 30.1 million barrels a day last month, the most in three decades and well over its official production ceiling of 27 million barrels a day.
Traders have been focusing on heating oil supply ahead of the winter season after a Department of Energy survey last week showed a larger-than-expected decline in heating oil stocks, a bullish development as temperatures cool going into winter.