Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday, after tropical storm Gordon, which looked headed towards some oil producing areas and threatened to disrupt production, weakened and deviated away from the expected path.
Traders were largely cautious with their moves as they looked ahead to a report on oil stockpiles from the American Petroleum Institute, due later in the day, and official inventory data from the Energy Information Administration, due on Thursday.
Trade tensions and concerns over emerging market currencies too forced traders to refrain from making aggressive moves.
Crude oil futures for October delivery ended down $1.15, or 1.7%, at $68.72 a barrel.
On Tuesday, crude oil futures settled with a small gain of 0.1%, at $69.87 a barrel, after rising to a high of $71.40 intraday.
Natural gas futures edged up by 0.21% to $2.829 per million btu.
Oil prices may move up if weekly U.S. crude inventory data show a drop in crude stockpiles. Analysts expect a drop of about 1.9 million barrels in stocks last week.
A report released by Baker Hughes last Friday showed U.S. oil drilling rigs count increased by two to 862 last week.