( BBC ) - Oil prices eased on Friday after moving past the $83-a-barrel, near record highs, after a US report showed lower-than-expected stockpiles.
Supply fears had sent US sweet light crude to $83.04 a barrel in Asian trade, but this later dropped to $82.77 in London trade.
US crude stocks fell by 1.7 million barrels last week, according to the US department of energy.
Meanwhile London Brent Crude was trading at $80.33.
World oil prices have been rising since the beginning of the year on the fear that supply will be unable to cope with rising demand.
In addition, some investors have bet heavily that the price of crude oil must rise further, pushing up prices even higher.
US crude oil stocks dipped to the lowest level since January, a report by the US Energy Information Administration showed, in contrast to analyst expectations for a rise.
"Looking at the bigger picture they [the EIA figures] do raise a lot of concerns about what's happening with the overall market," said Alaron Trading analyst Phil Flynn.