Global oil prices fell on Friday, with traders taking profits after a recent rally and as US politicians continue to wrangle over a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, analysts said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February dipped $1.31 to $88.82 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for February dropped 85 cents to $109.35 a barrel in London midday deals.
"After a big rally in price over the last few days people are happy to exit and reap a form of profit while taking risk off the table," Jason Hughes, the head of premium client management at IG Markets Singapore told AFP.
"We are also seeing a more cautious approach in Asia just in case US politicians don't come to a resolution to avoid the fiscal cliff."
Crude prices rose earlier in the week on a sharper-than-expected fall in US crude inventories and as lawmakers appeared to make headway on a deal to avert the huge tax hikes and spending cuts due to take effect at the start of January.
But talks appeared to have hit an impasse as top Republican John Boehner tried to push through his "Plan B" that extends tax breaks for everyone earning less than $1 million per year.
US President Barack Obama, however, has said he is willing to go no higher than $400,000.
But Boehner, who is speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, was forced Thursday to scrap a vote on the plan as he acknowledged that it did not have sufficient support even from within his own party.