Benchmark crude for October delivery was unchanged at $97.17 a barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 63 cents to $97.17 on the Nymex on Tuesday.
Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, was down 5 cents at $114.72.
Oil prices are caught between the push-pull of two events: the so-called shoulder period for fuel demand, and the start of a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee.
Oil prices trend lower during shoulder periods—the time of year between summer, when gasoline is in high demand as Americans take to the road for vacation, and the winter when there is strong demand for heating oil.
But Fed action to help the U.S. economy might mean more demand for oil and other energy products.
Traders also are awaiting a decision from Germany's high court, expected Wednesday, on whether the country can participate in a European bailout fund.
In other trading on Nymex, heating oil rose 0.3 cent to $3.189 per gallon. Wholesale gasoline gained 1.4 cents to $3.057 per gallon. Natural gas increased 2.7 cents to $3.019 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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