UPDATE 7-Brent slips, U.S. crude higher as stockpiles drop
* EIA says U.S. crude stocks drop, against expected rise
* U.S. gasoline stocks rise, distillate dip less than expected
* North Sea Buzzard fields could restart Thursday
(Recasts with updated prices, market activity; changes byline and dateline, pvs LONDON)
NEW YORK, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil edged lower on Thursday on the restarting of North Sea production and euro zone economic concerns, while U.S. gasoline seesawed as support from supply shortages after super storm Sandy was countered by bearish news of rising inventories.
U.S. crude futures pushed higher by supportive economic data and a drop in crude oil inventories.
After Hurricane Sandy battered the region, logistical problems from power outages and navigational hazards continued to threaten fuel and crude oil deliveries in the New York area, including the New York Harbor delivery point for New York Mercantile Exchange fuel futures contracts.
Brent December crude fell 49 cents to $108.21 a barrel by 2:15 p.m. EDT (1815 GMT), having slipped as low as $107.75.
The expected restart of the North Sea Buzzard oilfield on Thursday, after delays in bringing back production that has been shut by maintenance since Sept. 4, weighed on Brent futures.
Worries about debt-laden Greece and the euro-zone economies, that pushed the euro lower against the U.S. dollar, added to pressure.
U.S. December crude was up 90 cents at $87.14 a barrel, having swung from $85.92 to $87.42.
U.S. crude inventories fell 2.05 million barrels, instead of the expected build of 1.5 million barrels, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Thursday, delayed a day because of Sandy.
``We saw that draw on crude and that helped put a bid in the market. I think the market found some support earlier from the employment number that had come out and the consumer confidence numbers,'' said Gene McGillian, analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
U.S. RBOB gasoline futures edged up, rising 0.10 cent to $2.6313 a gallon, even after government data from the EIA showed gasoline inventories rose 935,000 barrels, which was more than expected.
Heating oil futures fell more than 1 percent, down 3.41 cents to $3.0282 a gallon after the EIA data showed total distillate stocks fell only 93,000 barrels, much less than the expected drop of 1.3 million barrels in a Reuters survey of analysts.
A 12.5 percent drop in distillate demand over the past four weeks compared to the year ago period also weighed on heating oil prices.
December contracts were in front-month position for U.S. RBOB gasoline and heating oil futures after November contracts expired on Wednesday.
``As highways are reopened, etc, a scramble for gasoline supply at the retail level appears to be supporting RBOB values much more than is the case in the heating oil where residential tanks have already been filled,'' wrote Jim Ritterbusch, President, Ritterbusch & Associates, in a research note.
SUPPORTIVE U.S. ECONOMIC DATA
U.S. companies added jobs in October at the fastest pace in eight months, supportive data for fuel demand and a sign of modest improvement in the labor market just days before next Tuesday's presidential election.
Other data on Thursday showed a sharp improvement in consumer confidence and a drop in new claims for jobless benefits, while there were mixed signals regarding the health of U.S. manufacturing.
(Additional reporting by Julia Payne in London and Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)