Oil little changed as early gains evaporate

NEW YORK -- The price of oil rose slightly Thursday after earlier gains of more than 1 percent evaporated.

Benchmark oil gained 13 cents to $85.86 a barrel at midday in New York after rising as high as $86.75 in the morning. The price dropped in each of the previous five trading sessions. Brent crude added 45 cents to $108.30 a barrel in London.

Cheaper oil, as well as falling gasoline futures, means more relief for U.S. drivers. Pump prices fell another 2 cents overnight to a national average of $3.60 a gallon. Gas was at $3.74 just a week ago.

Meanwhile, natural gas prices are down 3 cents to $3.42 per 1,000 cubic feet after the government said supplies of the fuel rose last week.

In other futures trading in New York:

_ Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $2.62 a gallon.

_ Heating oil rose 1 cent to $3.04 a gallon.