Updated from 1:32 p.m. EST
Crude oil prices closed flat Tuesday, after a sharp decline Monday snapped a double-digit rally from last week.
The February futures contract shed 2 cents to $45.76.
Traders are awaiting Wednesday's weekly report on U.S. inventories amid a spell of unseasonably cold weather in the Northeast.
The market also remains somewhat unsettled by the potential for more terror attacks on oil industry targets in the Middle East following a weekend message by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden urging militants to strike Saudi Arabian oil facilities, according to media reports.
Worries about terrorism, along with periodic disruptions to Iraq's production from sabotage, have been among the many factors supporting oil prices this year. Prices hit a record closing high of $55.17 on Oct. 26 before undergoing a steep two-month correction.
Prices soared last week amid unseasonably cold weather and the heightening drama surrounding the future of Russian oil giant Yukos, whose Siberian production arm was sold Sunday in a legally questionable auction by the Russian government as part of its tax case against the company.