NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Oil futures slid Friday as more than a few reports pointed to profit-taking as a key motive.

Front-month crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange slid 46 cents to $72.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, the price dipped by 4 cents to settle at $72.47 after rising above $73 during the session.

By closing Thursday, many major oil shares found themselves in the red. Shares of Exxon Mobil ( XOM - Get Report) and Chevron ( CVX - Get Report) lost around 0.7% each. Still, both were moving higher in after-hours and early-morning trading.

ConocoPhillips ( COP - Get Report) finished Thursday flat at $46.79, but Marathon Oil ( MRO - Get Report) added 3 cents to $33.88.

Still, refiners saw a lot of trading action Thursday and made gains, with Valero Energy ( VLO - Get Report), Sunoco ( SUN - Get Report) and Tesoro ( TSO) surging 6.6%, 2.6% and 4.3%, respectively, by the closing bell.

-- Written by Sung Moss in New York

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