LONDON : Crude oil prices fell Wednesday following recent gains, mirroring events across world stock markets, as traders showed caution ahead of Greek talks, Fed minutes and US energy inventory data.  Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October dropped 79 cents to stand at $113.85 a barrel in London midday trade compared with Tuesday’s closing level.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for October slipped 22 cents to $96.62.

Crude oil prices had risen in earlier Asian deals, building on the week’s strong gains, on growing hopes of imminent European Central Bank intervention to ameliorate the eurozone debt crisis.

New York crude on Tuesday reached $97.60 a barrel, which was the highest level since May 10. Middle East tensions have also lent support to oil prices in recent days, traders said.

In Europe, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday called for more time to make spending cuts and reforms to unlock funds to keep the debt-wracked country afloat, two days before Greece’s crunch talks in Germany.

Investors were also waiting for the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last monetary policy meeting. Due later Wednesday, the minutes should provide indications as to why the US central bank has shied away from launching a fresh round of economic stimulus in the form of quantitative easing (QE).

Also Wednesday, the US government publishes its latest weekly snapshot of energy inventories in the United States, which is the world’s biggest consumer of oil.